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Taking His Chance Analysis

Author: Poetry of Henry Lawson Type: Poetry Views: 128

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They stood by the door of the Inn on the Rise;

May Carney looked up in the bushranger's eyes:

`Oh! why did you come? -- it was mad of you, Jack;

You know that the troopers are out on your track.'

A laugh and a shake of his obstinate head --

`I wanted a dance, and I'll chance it,' he said.

Some twenty-odd bushmen had come to the `ball',

But Jack from his youth had been known to them all,

And bushmen are soft where a woman is fair,

So the love of May Carney protected him there;

And all the short evening -- it seems like romance --

She danced with a bushranger taking his chance.

`Twas midnight -- the dancers stood suddenly still,

For hoofs had been heard on the side of the hill!

Ben Duggan, the drover, along the hillside

Came riding as only a bushman can ride.

He sprang from his horse, to the shanty he sped --

`The troopers are down in the gully!' he said.

Quite close to the homestead the troopers were seen.

`Clear out and ride hard for the ranges, Jack Dean!

Be quick!' said May Carney -- her hand on her heart --

`We'll bluff them awhile, and 'twill give you a start.'

He lingered a moment -- to kiss her, of course --

Then ran to the trees where he'd hobbled his horse.

She ran to the gate, and the troopers were there --

The jingle of hobbles came faint on the air --

Then loudly she screamed:it was only to drown

The treacherous clatter of slip-rails let down.

But troopers are sharp, and she saw at a glance

That someone was taking a desperate chance.

They chased, and they shouted, `Surrender, Jack Dean!'

They called him three times in the name of the Queen.

Then came from the darkness the clicking of locks;

The crack of the rifles was heard in the rocks!

A shriek and a shout, and a rush of pale men --

And there lay the bushranger, chancing it then.

The sergeant dismounted and knelt on the sod --

`Your bushranging's over -- make peace, Jack, with God!'

The bushranger laughed -- not a word he replied,

But turned to the girl who knelt down by his side.

He gazed in her eyes as she lifted his head:

`Just kiss me -- my girl -- and -- I'll -- chance it,' he said.


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