Dolce far niente, Henry Lawson, Cees Nooteboom, Wouter Godijn, Grand Corps Malade

 

Dolce far niente

 

 
Gleaming Waters door Henry Scott Tuke, 1910

 

The Days When We Went Swimming

The breezes waved the silver grass,
Waist-high along the siding,
And to the creek we ne’er could pass
Three boys on bare-back riding;
Beneath the sheoaks in the bend
The waterhole was brimming –
Do you remember yet, old friend,
The times we ‘went in swimming’?

The days we ‘played the wag’ from school –
Joys shared – and paid for singly –
The air was hot, the water cool –
And naked boys are kingly!
With mud for soap the sun to dry –
A well planned lie to stay us,
And dust well rubbed on neck and face
Lest cleanliness betray us.

And you’ll remember farmer Kutz –
Though scarcely for his bounty –
He leased a forty-acre block,
And thought he owned the county;
A farmer of the old world school,
That grew men hard and grim in,
He drew his water from the pool
That we preferred to swim in.

And do you mind when down the creek
His angry way he wended,
A green-hide cartwhip in his hand
For our young backs intended?
Three naked boys upon the sand –
Half buried and half sunning –
Three startled boys without their clothes
Across the paddocks running.

 

 
Henry Lawson (17 juni 1867 – 2 september 1922)
Als 14-jarige in 1881

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