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The Muscovy Duck
Henry Lawson


The rooster is a brainless dude, although he sports a crest,
The hen's an awful fool we know, though hen-eggs are the best;
She'll flutter, cackling, anywhere save through a gate or door,
And try to hatch a door-knob, too, for forty days or more.
The turkey is of small account, we'll let it go in peace,
And other fowls are ornaments, and geese are simply geese;
But over all that cackle, hiss, or gobble, quack, or cluck,
My favourite shall always be the quaint Muscovy duck.

I'm fond of Mrs Muscovy, I think she knows the most
Of all the different kinds of fowls that poultry-breeders boast.
She knows best how to build her nest when laying time is past,
And you should see the knowing pride with which she sets at last.
She waddles out for food and drink, she's not afraid of us,
And if we fix her now and then she doesn't make a fuss;
No frantic flaps of useless wings, no cackle, hiss, nor cluck,
She's queen of all philosophers, the quaint Muscovy duck.

It is a wondrous thing to see, and a wondrous thing to tell,
Her ducklings know as much as ducks the day they leave the shell.
That she is proud as proud can be, is plain to any dunce,
The little ducklings set to work to grow up ducks at once;
And, on a sunny winter's day, 'tis a good thing for the eyes
To see her waddle round and watch her ducklings catching flies,
I love her for her waddle, and her patience, and her pluck,
Her wag of tail and nod of head, the quaint Muscovy duck.

This poem is in the public domain.



Henry Lawson (1867 - 1922) was born in New South Wales but moved to Sydney as a teenager. Deaf from the age of fourteen due to damage from an ear infection, he was an avid reader who began publishing poetry at the age of twenty. Henry wrote nonfiction and short stories as well as poetry, using Australia’s bush country and rural residents as a theme for much of his work; this focus earned him a reputation akin to some of America's "cowboy poets."  One of Australia’s most celebrated writers during his lifetime, Henry’s chronic financial problems and alcohol abuse kept his personal life in turmoil, but he was much beloved by his countrymen, and his death was marked with a state funeral attended by thousands of mourners.



Post New Comment:
Great sustained rhythm and rhyme scheme. We all know more about Muscovy ducks now.
Posted 03/15/2020 12:52 PM
He has his ducks in a row.
Posted 03/15/2020 11:55 AM
Posted 03/15/2020 11:20 AM
I love this!! It's great for reading aloud and the images it presents!!!
Posted 03/15/2020 09:37 AM

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