Convict

The boy’s meagre earnings
fed himself, his mother, younger
brothers and sisters, all of
them thin, sickly, starving.

Seeing a shopkeeper busy
with customers he sneaked
out  a pound of suet, whisked
it home to mother,

The hue and cry came after him,
brought him before the judge
who sentenced him for this theft
“transport to Botany Bay”.

Shipped to distant Australia
in punishment, he left his family
without his earnings, only
deep shame for his crime.

Ch: “Singing too-ral-li-oo-ral-li-addity
         singing too-ral-li-oo-ra-li-ay.
         Singing too-ral-li-oo-ral-li-addity
         we’re bound for Botany Bay.”     *

*Chorus of an 1880’s London music hall
song still sung in Australia today.

Convict