Henry Lawson was an Australian writer and poet. Along with his contemporary, Banjo Paterson, Lawson is among the best-known Australian poets and fiction writers of the colonial period and is often called Australia’s “greatest writer”. During the 1880’s, he worked with his father in the Blue Mountains and during that time he wrote a beautiful poem outlining the mystique and haunting beauty of the environment.
As you read his poem, The Blue Mountains, one can nearly picture Henry sitting half way down from the edge of Katoomba Falls, taking notes to capture his feelings as he watches the steady stream of water flowing over the giant sandstone cliff face.
Henry Lawson’s story is fascinating and sad at the same time. He endured many hardships during his lifetime and an array of mixed experiences can be felt all throughout his poems.
I would highly recommend researching Henry Lawson to find a treasure-trove of his timeless Australian poems and ballads. He really was a national treasure.
Visit Katoomba Falls on your next Oz Trail’s Blue Mountains tour to capture the essence of Henry’s poem outlined below:
The Blue Mountains by Henry Lawson
Above the ashes straight and tall,
Through ferns with moisture dripping,
I climb beneath the sandstone wall,
My feet on mosses slipping.
Like ramparts round the valley’s edge
The tinted cliffs are standing,
With many a broken wall and ledge,
And many a rocky landing.
And round about their rugged feet
Deep ferny dells are hidden
In shadowed depths, whence dust and heat
Are banished and forbidden.
The stream that, crooning to itself,
Comes down a tireless rover,
Flows calmly to the rocky shelf,
And there leaps bravely over.
Now pouring down, now lost in spray
When mountain breezes sally,
The water strikes the rock midway,
And leaps into the valley.
Now in the west the colours change,
The blue with crimson blending;
Behind the far Dividing Range,
The sun is fast descending.
And mellowed day comes o’er the place,
And softens ragged edges;
The rising moon’s great placid face
Looks gravely o’er the ledges.