Scots of the Riverina

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Scots of the Riverina is a 1917 Australian bush poem by Henry Lawson. It relates the story of a boy who left his home in Riverina and is shunned by his family until he dies in World War I.


It is set in the Riverina, New South Wales in the town of Gundagai. It tells of a boy who leaves home at the start of the harvest to move to the city, an unheard of and unforgivable thing for a Scot to do in the early 1900s, according to the poet: "They were Scots of the Riverina, and to run from home was a crime."

The boy's father, the old "Scot of the Riverina", burns all of his son's letters, removes his son's name from the Family Bible, and vows to never speak of his son again. Eventually the boy goes to war and is killed at Flanders, and the poem ends with the father writing his son's name back into the bible.

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