In the Days When the World Was Wide and Other Verses
by Henry Lawson
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(2 ed.)

by Henry Lawson

[Australian house-painter, author and poet — 1867-1922.]

[Note on text: Italicized stanzas will be indented 5 spaces. Italicized stanzas that are ALREADY indented will be indented 10 spaces. Italicized words and phrases have been capitalized. Lines longer than 75 characters have been broken according to metre, and the continuation is indented two spaces. Also, some obvious errors, after being confirmed against other sources, have been corrected. This etext was prepared from a 1913 printing.]

[Note on content: Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson were writing for the Sydney 'Bulletin' in 1892 when Lawson suggested a 'duel' of poetry to increase the number of poems they could sell to the paper. It was apparently entered into in all fun, though there are reports that Lawson was bitter about it later. 'Up the Country' and 'The City Bushman', included in this selection, were two of Lawson's contributions to the debate. Please note that this is the revised edition of 1900. Therefore, even though this book was originally published in 1896, it includes two poems not published until 1899 ('The Sliprails and the Spur' and 'Past Carin'').]

First Edition printed February 1896,

Reprinted August 1896, October 1896, March 1898, and November 1898;

Revised Edition, January 1900;

Reprinted May 1903, February 1910, June 1912, and July 1913.


Most of the verses contained in this volume were first published in the Sydney 'Bulletin'; others in the Brisbane 'Boomerang', Sydney 'Freeman's Journal', 'Town and Country Journal', 'Worker', and 'New Zealand Mail', whose editors and proprietors I desire to thank for past kindnesses and for present courtesy in granting me the right of reproduction in book form.

'In the Days When the World was Wide' was written in Maoriland and some of the other verses in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

The dates of original publication are given in the Table of Contents. Those undated are now printed for the first time.


To J. F. Archibald

To an Old Mate

Old Mate! In the gusty old weather, When our hopes and our troubles were new, In the years spent in wearing out leather, I found you unselfish and true — I have gathered these verses together For the sake of our friendship and you.

You may think for awhile, and with reason, Though still with a kindly regret, That I've left it full late in the season To prove I remember you yet; But you'll never judge me by their treason Who profit by friends — and forget.

I remember, Old Man, I remember — The tracks that we followed are clear — The jovial last nights of December, The solemn first days of the year, Long tramps through the clearings and timber, Short partings on platform and pier.

I can still feel the spirit that bore us, And often the old stars will shine — I remember the last spree in chorus For the sake of that other Lang Syne, When the tracks lay divided before us, Your path through the future and mine.

Through the frost-wind that cut like whip-lashes, Through the ever-blind haze of the drought — And in fancy at times by the flashes Of light in the darkness of doubt — I have followed the tent poles and ashes Of camps that we moved further out.

You will find in these pages a trace of That side of our past which was bright, And recognise sometimes the face of A friend who has dropped out of sight — I send them along in the place of The letters I promised to write.


To an Old Mate Old Mate! In the gusty old weather,

In the Days When the World was Wide The world is narrow and ways are short, and our lives are dull and slow, [Dec. — 1894]

Faces in the Street They lie, the men who tell us in a loud decisive tone [July — 1888]

The Roaring Days The night too quickly passes [Dec. — 1889]

'For'ard' It is stuffy in the steerage where the second-classers sleep, [Dec. — 1893]

The Drover's Sweetheart An hour before the sun goes down [June — 1891]

Out Back The old year went, and the new returned, in the withering weeks of drought, [Sept. — 1893]

The Free-Selector's Daughter I met her on the Lachlan Side — [May — 1891]

'Sez You' When the heavy sand is yielding backward from your blistered feet, [Mar. — 1894]

Andy's Gone With Cattle Our Andy's gone to battle now [Oct. — 1888]

Jack Dunn of Nevertire It chanced upon the very day we'd got the shearing done, [Aug. — 1892]

Trooper Campbell One day old Trooper Campbell [Apr. — 1891]

The Sliprails and the Spur The colours of the setting sun [July — 1899]

Past Carin' Now up and down the siding brown [Aug. — 1899]

The Glass on the Bar Three bushmen one morning rode up to an inn, [Apr. — 1890]

The Shanty on the Rise When the caravans of wool-teams climbed the ranges from the West, [Dec. — 1891]

The Vagabond White handkerchiefs wave from the short black pier [Aug. — 1895]

Sweeney It was somewhere in September, and the sun was going down, [Dec. — 1893]

Middleton's Rouseabout Tall and freckled and sandy, [Mar. — 1890]

The Ballad of the Drover Across the stony ridges, [Mar. — 1889]

Taking His Chance They stood by the door of the Inn on the Rise; [June — 1892]

When the 'Army' Prays for Watty When the kindly hours of darkness, save for light of moon and star, [May — 1893]

The Wreck of the 'Derry Castle' Day of ending for beginnings! [Dec. — 1887]

Ben Duggan Jack Denver died on Talbragar when Christmas Eve began, [Dec. — 1891]

The Star of Australasia We boast no more of our bloodless flag, that rose from a nation's slime;

The Great Grey Plain Out West, where the stars are brightest, [Sept. — 1893]

The Song of Old Joe Swallow When I was up the country in the rough and early days, [May — 1890]

Corny Bill His old clay pipe stuck in his mouth, [May — 1892]

Cherry-Tree Inn The rafters are open to sun, moon, and star,

Up the Country I am back from up the country — very sorry that I went — [July — 1892]

Knocked Up I'm lyin' on the barren ground that's baked and cracked with drought, [Aug. — 1893]

The Blue Mountains Above the ashes straight and tall, [Dec. — 1888]

The City Bushman It was pleasant up the country, City Bushman, where you went, [Aug. — 1892]

Eurunderee There are scenes in the distance where beauty is not, [Aug. — 1891]

Mount Bukaroo Only one old post is standing — [Dec. — 1889]

The Fire at Ross's Farm The squatter saw his pastures wide [Apr. — 1891]

The Teams A cloud of dust on the long white road, [Dec. — 1889]

Cameron's Heart The diggings were just in their glory when Alister Cameron came, [July — 1891]

The Shame of Going Back When you've come to make a fortune and you haven't made your salt, [Oct. — 1891]

Since Then I met Jack Ellis in town to-day — [Nov. — 1895]

Peter Anderson and Co. He had offices in Sydney, not so many years ago, [Aug. — 1895]

When the Children Come Home On a lonely selection far out in the West [Dec. — 1890]

Dan, the Wreck Tall, and stout, and solid-looking,

A Prouder Man Than You If you fancy that your people came of better stock than mine, [June — 1892]

The Song and the Sigh The creek went down with a broken song, [Mar. — 1889]

The Cambaroora Star So you're writing for a paper? Well, it's nothing very new [Dec. — 1891]

After All The brooding ghosts of Australian night have gone from the bush and town;

Marshall's Mate You almost heard the surface bake, and saw the gum-leaves turn — [July — 1895]

The Poets of the Tomb The world has had enough of bards who wish that they were dead, [Oct. — 1892]

Australian Bards and Bush Reviewers While you use your best endeavour to immortalise in verse [Feb. — 1894]

The Ghost Down the street as I was drifting with the city's human tide, [Aug. — 1889]


In the Days When the World was Wide

The world is narrow and ways are short, and our lives are dull and slow, For little is new where the crowds resort, and less where the wanderers go; Greater, or smaller, the same old things we see by the dull road-side — And tired of all is the spirit that sings of the days when the world was wide.

When the North was hale in the march of Time, and the South and the West were new, And the gorgeous East was a pantomime, as it seemed in our boyhood's view; When Spain was first on the waves of change, and proud in the ranks of pride, And all was wonderful, new and strange in the days when the world was wide.

Then a man could fight if his heart were bold, and win if his faith were true — Were it love, or honour, or power, or gold, or all that our hearts pursue; Could live to the world for the family name, or die for the family pride, Could fly from sorrow, and wrong, and shame in the days when the world was wide.

They sailed away in the ships that sailed ere science controlled the main, When the strong, brave heart of a man prevailed as 'twill never prevail again; They knew not whither, nor much they cared — let Fate or the winds decide — The worst of the Great Unknown they dared in the days when the world was wide.

They raised new stars on the silent sea that filled their hearts with awe; They came to many a strange countree and marvellous sights they saw. The villagers gaped at the tales they told, and old eyes glistened with pride — When barbarous cities were paved with gold in the days when the world was wide.

'Twas honest metal and honest wood, in the days of the Outward Bound, When men were gallant and ships were good — roaming the wide world round. The gods could envy a leader then when 'Follow me, lads!' he cried — They faced each other and fought like men in the days when the world was wide.

They tried to live as a freeman should — they were happier men than we, In the glorious days of wine and blood, when Liberty crossed the sea; 'Twas a comrade true or a foeman then, and a trusty sword well tried — They faced each other and fought like men in the days when the world was wide.

The good ship bound for the Southern seas when the beacon was Ballarat, With a 'Ship ahoy!' on the freshening breeze, 'Where bound?' and 'What ship's that?' — The emigrant train to New Mexico — the rush to the Lachlan Side — Ah! faint is the echo of Westward Ho! from the days when the world was wide.

South, East, and West in advance of Time — and, ay! in advance of Thought Those brave men rose to a height sublime — and is it for this they fought? And is it for this damned life we praise the god-like spirit that died At Eureka Stockade in the Roaring Days with the days when the world was wide?

We fight like women, and feel as much; the thoughts of our hearts we guard; Where scarcely the scorn of a god could touch, the sneer of a sneak hits hard; The treacherous tongue and cowardly pen, the weapons of curs, decide — They faced each other and fought like men in the days when the world was wide.

Think of it all — of the life that is! Study your friends and foes! Study the past! And answer this: 'Are these times better than those?' The life-long quarrel, the paltry spite, the sting of your poisoned pride! No matter who fell it were better to fight as they did when the world was wide.

Boast as you will of your mateship now — crippled and mean and sly — The lines of suspicion on friendship's brow were traced since the days gone by. There was room in the long, free lines of the van to fight for it side by side — There was beating-room for the heart of a man in the days when the world was wide.

. . . . .

With its dull, brown days of a-shilling-an-hour the dreary year drags round: Is this the result of Old England's power? — the bourne of the Outward Bound? Is this the sequel of Westward Ho! — of the days of Whate'er Betide? The heart of the rebel makes answer 'No! We'll fight till the world grows wide!'

The world shall yet be a wider world — for the tokens are manifest; East and North shall the wrongs be hurled that followed us South and West. The march of Freedom is North by the Dawn! Follow, whate'er betide! Sons of the Exiles, march! March on! March till the world grows wide!

Faces in the Street

They lie, the men who tell us in a loud decisive tone That want is here a stranger, and that misery's unknown; For where the nearest suburb and the city proper meet My window-sill is level with the faces in the street — Drifting past, drifting past, To the beat of weary feet — While I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street.

And cause I have to sorrow, in a land so young and fair, To see upon those faces stamped the marks of Want and Care; I look in vain for traces of the fresh and fair and sweet In sallow, sunken faces that are drifting through the street — Drifting on, drifting on, To the scrape of restless feet; I can sorrow for the owners of the faces in the street.

In hours before the dawning dims the starlight in the sky The wan and weary faces first begin to trickle by, Increasing as the moments hurry on with morning feet, Till like a pallid river flow the faces in the street — Flowing in, flowing in, To the beat of hurried feet — Ah! I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street.

The human river dwindles when 'tis past the hour of eight, Its waves go flowing faster in the fear of being late; But slowly drag the moments, whilst beneath the dust and heat The city grinds the owners of the faces in the street — Grinding body, grinding soul, Yielding scarce enough to eat — Oh! I sorrow for the owners of the faces in the street.

And then the only faces till the sun is sinking down Are those of outside toilers and the idlers of the town, Save here and there a face that seems a stranger in the street, Tells of the city's unemployed upon his weary beat — Drifting round, drifting round, To the tread of listless feet — Ah! My heart aches for the owner of that sad face in the street.

And when the hours on lagging feet have slowly dragged away, And sickly yellow gaslights rise to mock the going day, Then flowing past my window like a tide in its retreat, Again I see the pallid stream of faces in the street — Ebbing out, ebbing out, To the drag of tired feet, While my heart is aching dumbly for the faces in the street.

And now all blurred and smirched with vice the day's sad pages end, For while the short 'large hours' toward the longer 'small hours' trend, With smiles that mock the wearer, and with words that half entreat, Delilah pleads for custom at the corner of the street — Sinking down, sinking down, Battered wreck by tempests beat — A dreadful, thankless trade is hers, that Woman of the Street.

But, ah! to dreader things than these our fair young city comes, For in its heart are growing thick the filthy dens and slums, Where human forms shall rot away in sties for swine unmeet, And ghostly faces shall be seen unfit for any street — Rotting out, rotting out, For the lack of air and meat — In dens of vice and horror that are hidden from the street.

I wonder would the apathy of wealthy men endure Were all their windows level with the faces of the Poor? Ah! Mammon's slaves, your knees shall knock, your hearts in terror beat, When God demands a reason for the sorrows of the street, The wrong things and the bad things And the sad things that we meet In the filthy lane and alley, and the cruel, heartless street.

I left the dreadful corner where the steps are never still, And sought another window overlooking gorge and hill; But when the night came dreary with the driving rain and sleet, They haunted me — the shadows of those faces in the street, Flitting by, flitting by, Flitting by with noiseless feet, And with cheeks but little paler than the real ones in the street.

Once I cried: 'Oh, God Almighty! if Thy might doth still endure, Now show me in a vision for the wrongs of Earth a cure.' And, lo! with shops all shuttered I beheld a city's street, And in the warning distance heard the tramp of many feet, Coming near, coming near, To a drum's dull distant beat, And soon I saw the army that was marching down the street.

Then, like a swollen river that has broken bank and wall, The human flood came pouring with the red flags over all, And kindled eyes all blazing bright with revolution's heat, And flashing swords reflecting rigid faces in the street. Pouring on, pouring on, To a drum's loud threatening beat, And the war-hymns and the cheering of the people in the street.

And so it must be while the world goes rolling round its course, The warning pen shall write in vain, the warning voice grow hoarse, But not until a city feels Red Revolution's feet Shall its sad people miss awhile the terrors of the street — The dreadful everlasting strife For scarcely clothes and meat In that pent track of living death — the city's cruel street.

The Roaring Days

The night too quickly passes And we are growing old, So let us fill our glasses And toast the Days of Gold; When finds of wondrous treasure Set all the South ablaze, And you and I were faithful mates All through the roaring days!

Then stately ships came sailing From every harbour's mouth, And sought the land of promise That beaconed in the South; Then southward streamed their streamers And swelled their canvas full To speed the wildest dreamers E'er borne in vessel's hull.

Their shining Eldorado, Beneath the southern skies, Was day and night for ever Before their eager eyes. The brooding bush, awakened, Was stirred in wild unrest, And all the year a human stream Went pouring to the West.

The rough bush roads re-echoed The bar-room's noisy din, When troops of stalwart horsemen Dismounted at the inn. And oft the hearty greetings And hearty clasp of hands Would tell of sudden meetings Of friends from other lands; When, puzzled long, the new-chum Would recognise at last, Behind a bronzed and bearded skin, A comrade of the past.

And when the cheery camp-fire Explored the bush with gleams, The camping-grounds were crowded With caravans of teams; Then home the jests were driven, And good old songs were sung, And choruses were given The strength of heart and lung. Oh, they were lion-hearted Who gave our country birth! Oh, they were of the stoutest sons From all the lands on earth!

Oft when the camps were dreaming, And fires began to pale, Through rugged ranges gleaming Would come the Royal Mail. Behind six foaming horses, And lit by flashing lamps, Old 'Cobb and Co.'s', in royal state, Went dashing past the camps.

Oh, who would paint a goldfield, And limn the picture right, As we have often seen it In early morning's light; The yellow mounds of mullock With spots of red and white, The scattered quartz that glistened Like diamonds in light; The azure line of ridges, The bush of darkest green, The little homes of calico That dotted all the scene.

I hear the fall of timber From distant flats and fells, The pealing of the anvils As clear as little bells, The rattle of the cradle, The clack of windlass-boles, The flutter of the crimson flags Above the golden holes.

. . . . .

Ah, then our hearts were bolder, And if Dame Fortune frowned Our swags we'd lightly shoulder And tramp to other ground. But golden days are vanished, And altered is the scene; The diggings are deserted, The camping-grounds are green; The flaunting flag of progress Is in the West unfurled, The mighty bush with iron rails Is tethered to the world.


It is stuffy in the steerage where the second-classers sleep, For there's near a hundred for'ard, and they're stowed away like sheep, — They are trav'lers for the most part in a straight 'n' honest path; But their linen's rather scanty, an' there isn't any bath — Stowed away like ewes and wethers that is shore 'n' marked 'n' draft. But the shearers of the shearers always seem to travel aft; In the cushioned cabins, aft, With saloons 'n' smoke-rooms, aft — There is sheets 'n' best of tucker for the first-salooners, aft.

Our beef is just like scrapin's from the inside of a hide, And the spuds were pulled too early, for they're mostly green inside; But from somewhere back amidships there's a smell o' cookin' waft, An' I'd give my earthly prospects for a real good tuck-out aft — Ham an' eggs 'n' coffee, aft, Say, cold fowl for luncheon, aft, Juicy grills an' toast 'n' cutlets — tucker a-lor-frongsy, aft.

They feed our women sep'rate, an' they make a blessed fuss, Just as if they couldn't trust 'em for to eat along with us! Just because our hands are horny an' our hearts are rough with graft — But the gentlemen and ladies always DINE together, aft — With their ferns an' mirrors, aft, With their flow'rs an' napkins, aft — 'I'll assist you to an orange' — 'Kindly pass the sugar', aft.

We are shabby, rough, 'n' dirty, an' our feelin's out of tune, An' it's hard on fellers for'ard that was used to go saloon; There's a broken swell among us — he is barracked, he is chaffed, An' I wish at times, poor devil, for his own sake he was aft; For they'd understand him, aft, (He will miss the bath-rooms aft), Spite of all there's no denyin' that there's finer feelin's aft.

Last night we watched the moonlight as it spread across the sea — 'It is hard to make a livin',' said the broken swell to me. 'There is ups an' downs,' I answered, an' a bitter laugh he laughed — There were brighter days an' better when he always travelled aft — With his rug an' gladstone, aft, With his cap an' spyglass, aft — A careless, rovin', gay young spark as always travelled aft.

There's a notice by the gangway, an' it seems to come amiss, For it says that second-classers 'ain't allowed abaft o' this'; An' there ought to be a notice for the fellows from abaft — But the smell an' dirt's a warnin' to the first-salooners, aft; With their tooth and nail-brush, aft, With their cuffs 'n' collars, aft — Their cigars an' books an' papers, an' their cap-peaks fore-'n'-aft.

I want to breathe the mornin' breeze that blows against the boat, For there's a swellin' in my heart — a tightness in my throat — We are for'ard when there's trouble! We are for'ard when there's graft! But the men who never battle always seem to travel aft; With their dressin'-cases, aft, With their swell pyjamas, aft — Yes! the idle and the careless, they have ease an' comfort, aft.

I feel so low an' wretched, as I mooch about the deck, That I'm ripe for jumpin' over — an' I wish there was a wreck! We are driven to New Zealand to be shot out over there — Scarce a shillin' in our pockets, nor a decent rag to wear, With the everlastin' worry lest we don't get into graft — There is little left to land for if you cannot travel aft; No anxiety abaft, They have stuff to land with, aft — Oh, there's little left to land for if you cannot travel aft;

But it's grand at sea this mornin', an' Creation almost speaks, Sailin' past the Bay of Islands with its pinnacles an' peaks, With the sunny haze all round us an' the white-caps on the blue, An' the orphan rocks an' breakers — Oh, it's glorious sailin' through! To the south a distant steamer, to the west a coastin' craft, An' we see the beauty for'ard, better than if we were aft; Spite of op'ra-glasses, aft; But, ah well, they're brothers aft — Nature seems to draw us closer — bring us nearer fore-'n'-aft.

What's the use of bein' bitter? What's the use of gettin' mad? What's the use of bein' narrer just because yer luck is bad? What's the blessed use of frettin' like a child that wants the moon? There is broken hearts an' trouble in the gilded first saloon! We are used to bein' shabby — we have got no overdraft — We can laugh at troubles for'ard that they couldn't laugh at aft; Spite o' pride an' tone abaft (Keepin' up appearance, aft) There's anxiety an' worry in the breezy cabins aft.

But the curse o' class distinctions from our shoulders shall be hurled, An' the influence of woman revolutionize the world; There'll be higher education for the toilin' starvin' clown, An' the rich an' educated shall be educated down; An' we all will meet amidships on this stout old earthly craft, An' there won't be any friction 'twixt the classes fore-'n'-aft. We'll be brothers, fore-'n'-aft! Yes, an' sisters, fore-'n'-aft! When the people work together, and there ain't no fore-'n'-aft.

The Drover's Sweetheart

An hour before the sun goes down Behind the ragged boughs, I go across the little run And bring the dusty cows; And once I used to sit and rest Beneath the fading dome, For there was one that I loved best Who'd bring the cattle home.

Our yard is fixed with double bails, Round one the grass is green, The bush is growing through the rails, The spike is rusted in; And 'twas from there his freckled face Would turn and smile at me — He'd milk a dozen in the race While I was milking three.

I milk eleven cows myself Where once I milked but four; I set the dishes on the shelf And close the dairy door; And when the glaring sunlight fails And the fire shines through the cracks, I climb the broken stockyard rails And watch the bridle-tracks.

He kissed me twice and once again And rode across the hill, The pint-pots and the hobble-chain I hear them jingling still; He'll come at night or not at all — He left in dust and heat, And when the soft, cool shadows fall Is the best time to meet.

And he is coming back again, He wrote to let me know, The floods were in the Darling then — It seems so long ago; He'd come through miles of slush and mud, And it was weary work, The creeks were bankers, and the flood Was forty miles round Bourke.

He said the floods had formed a block, The plains could not be crossed, And there was foot-rot in the flock And hundreds had been lost; The sheep were falling thick and fast A hundred miles from town, And when he reached the line at last He trucked the remnant down.

And so he'll have to stand the cost; His luck was always bad, Instead of making more, he lost The money that he had; And how he'll manage, heaven knows (My eyes are getting dim), He says — he says — he don't — suppose I'll want — to — marry — him.

As if I wouldn't take his hand Without a golden glove — Oh! Jack, you men won't understand How much a girl can love. I long to see his face once more — Jack's dog! thank God, it's Jack! — (I never thought I'd faint before) He's coming — up — the track.

Out Back

The old year went, and the new returned, in the withering weeks of drought, The cheque was spent that the shearer earned, and the sheds were all cut out; The publican's words were short and few, and the publican's looks were black — And the time had come, as the shearer knew, to carry his swag Out Back.

For time means tucker, and tramp you must, where the scrubs and plains are wide, With seldom a track that a man can trust, or a mountain peak to guide; All day long in the dust and heat — when summer is on the track — With stinted stomachs and blistered feet, they carry their swags Out Back.

He tramped away from the shanty there, when the days were long and hot, With never a soul to know or care if he died on the track or not. The poor of the city have friends in woe, no matter how much they lack, But only God and the swagmen know how a poor man fares Out Back.

He begged his way on the parched Paroo and the Warrego tracks once more, And lived like a dog, as the swagmen do, till the Western stations shore; But men were many, and sheds were full, for work in the town was slack — The traveller never got hands in wool, though he tramped for a year Out Back.

In stifling noons when his back was wrung by its load, and the air seemed dead, And the water warmed in the bag that hung to his aching arm like lead, Or in times of flood, when plains were seas, and the scrubs were cold and black, He ploughed in mud to his trembling knees, and paid for his sins Out Back.

He blamed himself in the year 'Too Late' — in the heaviest hours of life — 'Twas little he dreamed that a shearing-mate had care of his home and wife; There are times when wrongs from your kindred come, and treacherous tongues attack — When a man is better away from home, and dead to the world, Out Back.

And dirty and careless and old he wore, as his lamp of hope grew dim; He tramped for years till the swag he bore seemed part of himself to him. As a bullock drags in the sandy ruts, he followed the dreary track, With never a thought but to reach the huts when the sun went down Out Back.

It chanced one day, when the north wind blew in his face like a furnace-breath, He left the track for a tank he knew — 'twas a short-cut to his death; For the bed of the tank was hard and dry, and crossed with many a crack, And, oh! it's a terrible thing to die of thirst in the scrub Out Back.

A drover came, but the fringe of law was eastward many a mile; He never reported the thing he saw, for it was not worth his while. The tanks are full and the grass is high in the mulga off the track, Where the bleaching bones of a white man lie by his mouldering swag Out Back.

For time means tucker, and tramp they must, where the plains and scrubs are wide, With seldom a track that a man can trust, or a mountain peak to guide; All day long in the flies and heat the men of the outside track With stinted stomachs and blistered feet must carry their swags Out Back.

The Free-Selector's Daughter

I met her on the Lachlan Side — A darling girl I thought her, And ere I left I swore I'd win The free-selector's daughter.

I milked her father's cows a month, I brought the wood and water, I mended all the broken fence, Before I won the daughter.

I listened to her father's yarns, I did just what I 'oughter', And what you'll have to do to win A free-selector's daughter.

I broke my pipe and burnt my twist, And washed my mouth with water; I had a shave before I kissed The free-selector's daughter.

Then, rising in the frosty morn, I brought the cows for Mary, And when I'd milked a bucketful I took it to the dairy.

I poured the milk into the dish While Mary held the strainer, I summoned heart to speak my wish, And, oh! her blush grew plainer.

I told her I must leave the place, I said that I would miss her; At first she turned away her face, And then she let me kiss her.

I put the bucket on the ground, And in my arms I caught her: I'd give the world to hold again That free-selector's daughter!

'Sez You'

When the heavy sand is yielding backward from your blistered feet, And across the distant timber you can SEE the flowing heat; When your head is hot and aching, and the shadeless plain is wide, And it's fifteen miles to water in the scrub the other side — Don't give up, don't be down-hearted, to a man's strong heart be true! Take the air in through your nostrils, set your lips and see it through — For it can't go on for ever, and — 'I'll have my day!' says you.

When you're camping in the mulga, and the rain is falling slow, While you nurse your rheumatism 'neath a patch of calico; Short of tucker or tobacco, short of sugar or of tea, And the scrubs are dark and dismal, and the plains are like a sea; Don't give up and be down-hearted — to the soul of man be true! Grin! if you've a mate to grin for, grin and jest and don't look blue; For it can't go on for ever, and — 'I'll rise some day,' says you.

When you've tramped the Sydney pavements till you've counted all the flags, And your flapping boot-soles trip you, and your clothes are mostly rags, When you're called a city loafer, shunned, abused, moved on, despised — Fifty hungry beggars after every job that's advertised — Don't be beaten! Hold your head up! To your wretched self be true; Set your pride to fight your hunger! Be a MAN in all you do! For it cannot last for ever — 'I will rise again!' says you.

When you're dossing out in winter, in the darkness and the rain, Crouching, cramped, and cold and hungry 'neath a seat in The Domain, And a cloaked policeman stirs you with that mighty foot of his — 'Phwat d'ye mane? Phwat's this? Who are ye? Come, move on — git out av this!' Don't get mad; 'twere only foolish; there is nought that you can do, Save to mark his beat and time him — find another hole or two; But it can't go on for ever — 'I'll have money yet!' says you.

. . . . .

Bother not about the morrow, for sufficient to the day Is the evil (rather more so). Put your trust in God and pray! Study well the ant, thou sluggard. Blessed are the meek and low. Ponder calmly on the lilies — how they idle, how they grow. A man's a man! Obey your masters! Do not blame the proud and fat, For the poor are always with them, and they cannot alter that. Lay your treasures up in Heaven — cling to life and see it through! For it cannot last for ever — 'I shall die some day,' says you.

Andy's Gone With Cattle

Our Andy's gone to battle now 'Gainst Drought, the red marauder; Our Andy's gone with cattle now Across the Queensland border.

He's left us in dejection now; Our hearts with him are roving. It's dull on this selection now, Since Andy went a-droving.

Who now shall wear the cheerful face In times when things are slackest? And who shall whistle round the place When Fortune frowns her blackest?

Oh, who shall cheek the squatter now When he comes round us snarling? His tongue is growing hotter now Since Andy cross'd the Darling.

The gates are out of order now, In storms the 'riders' rattle; For far across the border now Our Andy's gone with cattle.

Poor Aunty's looking thin and white; And Uncle's cross with worry; And poor old Blucher howls all night Since Andy left Macquarie.

Oh, may the showers in torrents fall, And all the tanks run over; And may the grass grow green and tall In pathways of the drover;

And may good angels send the rain On desert stretches sandy; And when the summer comes again God grant 'twill bring us Andy.

Jack Dunn of Nevertire

It chanced upon the very day we'd got the shearing done, A buggy brought a stranger to the West-o'-Sunday Run; He had a round and jolly face, and he was sleek and stout, He drove right up between the huts and called the super out. We chaps were smoking after tea, and heard the swell enquire For one as travelled by the name of 'Dunn of Nevertire'. Jack Dunn of Nevertire, Poor Dunn of Nevertire; There wasn't one of us but knew Jack Dunn of Nevertire.

'Jack Dunn of Nevertire,' he said; 'I was a mate of his; And now it's twenty years since I set eyes upon his phiz. There is no whiter man than Jack — no straighter south the line, There is no hand in all the land I'd sooner grip in mine; To help a mate in trouble Jack would go through flood and fire. Great Scott! and don't you know the name of Dunn of Nevertire? Big Dunn of Nevertire, Long Jack from Nevertire; He stuck to me through thick and thin, Jack Dunn of Nevertire.

'I did a wild and foolish thing while Jack and I were mates, And I disgraced my guv'nor's name, an' wished to try the States. My lamps were turned to Yankee Land, for I'd some people there, And I was right when someone sent the money for my fare; I thought 'twas Dad until I took the trouble to enquire, And found that he who sent the stuff was Dunn of Nevertire, Jack Dunn of Nevertire, Soft Dunn of Nevertire; He'd won some money on a race — Jack Dunn of Nevertire.

'Now I've returned, by Liverpool, a swell of Yankee brand, To reckon, guess, and kalkilate, 'n' wake my native land; There is no better land, I swear, in all the wide world round — I smelt the bush a month before we touched King George's Sound! And now I've come to settle down, the top of my desire Is just to meet a mate o' mine called 'Dunn of Nevertire'. Was raised at Nevertire — The town of Nevertire; He humped his bluey by the name of 'Dunn of Nevertire'.

'I've heard he's poor, and if he is, a proud old fool is he; But, spite of that, I'll find a way to fix the old gum-tree. I've bought a station in the North — the best that could be had; I want a man to pick the stock — I want a super bad; I want no bully-brute to boss — no crawling, sneaking liar — My station super's name shall be 'Jack Dunn of Nevertire'! Straight Dunn of Nevertire, Old Dunn of Nevertire; I guess he's known up Queensland way — Jack Dunn of Nevertire.'

The super said, while to his face a strange expression came: 'I THINK I've seen the man you want, I THINK I know the name; Had he a jolly kind of face, a free and careless way, Gray eyes that always seem'd to smile, and hair just turning gray — Clean-shaved, except a light moustache, long-limbed, an' tough as wire?' 'THAT'S HIM! THAT'S DUNN!' the stranger roared, 'Jack Dunn of Nevertire! John Dunn of Nevertire, Jack D. from Nevertire, They said I'd find him here, the cuss! — Jack Dunn of Nevertire.

'I'd know his walk,' the stranger cried, 'though sobered, I'll allow.' 'I doubt it much,' the boss replied, 'he don't walk that way now.' 'Perhaps he don't!' the stranger said, 'for years were hard on Jack; But, if he were a mile away, I swear I'd know his back.' 'I doubt it much,' the super said, and sadly puffed his briar, 'I guess he wears a pair of wings — Jack Dunn of Nevertire; Jack Dunn of Nevertire, Brave Dunn of Nevertire, He caught a fever nursing me, Jack Dunn of Nevertire.'

We took the stranger round to where a gum-tree stood alone, And in the grass beside the trunk he saw a granite stone; The names of Dunn and Nevertire were plainly written there — 'I'm all broke up,' the stranger said, in sorrow and despair, 'I guess he has a wider run, the man that I require; He's got a river-frontage now, Jack Dunn of Nevertire; Straight Dunn of Nevertire, White Jack from Nevertire, I guess Saint Peter knew the name of 'Dunn of Nevertire'.'

Trooper Campbell

One day old Trooper Campbell Rode out to Blackman's Run, His cap-peak and his sabre Were glancing in the sun. 'Twas New Year's Eve, and slowly Across the ridges low The sad Old Year was drifting To where the old years go.

The trooper's mind was reading The love-page of his life — His love for Mary Wylie Ere she was Blackman's wife; He sorrowed for the sorrows Of the heart a rival won, For he knew that there was trouble Out there on Blackman's Run.

The sapling shades had lengthened, The summer day was late, When Blackman met the trooper Beyond the homestead gate. And if the hand of trouble Can leave a lasting trace, The lines of care had come to stay On poor old Blackman's face.

'Not good day, Trooper Campbell, It's a bad, bad day for me — You are of all the men on earth The one I wished to see. The great black clouds of trouble Above our homestead hang; That wild and reckless boy of mine Has joined M'Durmer's gang.

'Oh! save him, save him, Campbell! I beg in friendship's name! For if they take and hang him, The wife would die of shame. Could Mary or her sisters Hold up their heads again, And face a woman's malice Or claim the love of men?

'And if he does a murder 'Twere better we were dead. Don't take him, Trooper Campbell, If a price be on his head; But shoot him! shoot him, Campbell, When you meet him face to face, And save him from the gallows, And us from that disgrace.'

'Now, Tom,' cried Trooper Campbell, 'You know your words are wild. Though he is wild and reckless, Yet still he is your child; So bear up in your trouble, And meet it like a man, And tell the wife and daughters I'll save him if I can.'

. . . . .

The sad Australian sunset Had faded from the west; But night brings darker shadows To hearts that cannot rest; And Blackman's wife sat rocking And moaning in her chair. 'I cannot bear disgrace,' she moaned; 'Disgrace I cannot bear.

'In hardship and in trouble I struggled year by year To make my children better Than other children here. And if my son's a felon How can I show my face? I cannot bear disgrace; my God, I cannot bear disgrace!

'Ah, God in Heaven pardon! I'm selfish in my woe — My boy is better-hearted Than many that I know. And I will face the world's disgrace, And, till his mother's dead, My foolish child shall find a place To lay his outlawed head.'

. . . . .

With a sad heart Trooper Campbell Rode back from Blackman's Run, Nor noticed aught about him Till thirteen miles were done; When, close beside a cutting, He heard the click of locks, And saw the rifle muzzles Were on him from the rocks.

But suddenly a youth rode out, And, close by Campbell's side: 'Don't fire! don't fire, in heaven's name! It's Campbell, boys!' he cried. Then one by one in silence The levelled rifles fell, For who'd shoot Trooper Campbell Of those who knew him well?

Oh, bravely sat old Campbell, No sign of fear showed he. He slowly drew his carbine; It rested by his knee. The outlaws' guns were lifted, But none the silence broke, Till steadfastly and firmly Old Trooper Campbell spoke.

'That boy that you would ruin Goes home with me, my men; Or some of us shall never Ride through the Gap again. You know old Trooper Campbell, And have you ever heard That bluff or lead could turn him, That e'er he broke his word?

'That reckless lad is playing A heartless villain's part; He knows that he is breaking His poor old mother's heart. He'll bring a curse upon himself; But 'tis not that alone, He'll bring dishonour to a name That I'D be proud to own.

'I speak to you, M'Durmer, — If your heart's not hardened quite, And if you'd seen the trouble At Blackman's home this night, You'd help me now, M'Durmer — I speak as man to man — I swore to save that foolish lad, And I'll save him if I can.'

'Oh, take him!' said M'Durmer, 'He's got a horse to ride.' The youngster thought a moment, Then rode to Campbell's side — 'Good-bye!' the outlaws shouted, As up the range they sped. 'A Merry New Year, Campbell,' Was all M'Durmer said.

. . . . .

Then fast along the ridges Two bushmen rode a race, And the moonlight lent a glory To Trooper Campbell's face. And ere the new year's dawning They reached the home at last; And this is but a story Of trouble that is past!

The Sliprails and the Spur

The colours of the setting sun Withdrew across the Western land — He raised the sliprails, one by one, And shot them home with trembling hand; Her brown hands clung — her face grew pale — Ah! quivering chin and eyes that brim! — One quick, fierce kiss across the rail, And, 'Good-bye, Mary!' 'Good-bye, Jim!'

Oh, he rides hard to race the pain Who rides from love, who rides from home; But he rides slowly home again, Whose heart has learnt to love and roam.

A hand upon the horse's mane, And one foot in the stirrup set, And, stooping back to kiss again, With 'Good-bye, Mary! don't you fret! When I come back' — he laughed for her — 'We do not know how soon 'twill be; I'll whistle as I round the spur — You let the sliprails down for me.'

She gasped for sudden loss of hope, As, with a backward wave to her, He cantered down the grassy slope And swiftly round the dark'ning spur. Black-pencilled panels standing high, And darkness fading into stars, And blurring fast against the sky, A faint white form beside the bars.

And often at the set of sun, In winter bleak and summer brown, She'd steal across the little run, And shyly let the sliprails down. And listen there when darkness shut The nearer spur in silence deep; And when they called her from the hut Steal home and cry herself to sleep.

. . . . .

{Some editions have four more lines here.}

And he rides hard to dull the pain Who rides from one that loves him best; And he rides slowly back again, Whose restless heart must rove for rest.

Past Carin'

Now up and down the siding brown The great black crows are flyin', And down below the spur, I know, Another 'milker's' dyin'; The crops have withered from the ground, The tank's clay bed is glarin', But from my heart no tear nor sound, For I have gone past carin' — Past worryin' or carin', Past feelin' aught or carin'; But from my heart no tear nor sound, For I have gone past carin'.

Through Death and Trouble, turn about, Through hopeless desolation, Through flood and fever, fire and drought, And slavery and starvation; Through childbirth, sickness, hurt, and blight, And nervousness an' scarin', Through bein' left alone at night, I've got to be past carin'. Past botherin' or carin', Past feelin' and past carin'; Through city cheats and neighbours' spite, I've come to be past carin'.

Our first child took, in days like these, A cruel week in dyin', All day upon her father's knees, Or on my poor breast lyin'; The tears we shed — the prayers we said Were awful, wild — despairin'! I've pulled three through, and buried two Since then — and I'm past carin'. I've grown to be past carin', Past worryin' and wearin'; I've pulled three through and buried two Since then, and I'm past carin'.

'Twas ten years first, then came the worst, All for a dusty clearin', I thought, I thought my heart would burst When first my man went shearin'; He's drovin' in the great North-west, I don't know how he's farin'; For I, the one that loved him best, Have grown to be past carin'. I've grown to be past carin' Past lookin' for or carin'; The girl that waited long ago, Has lived to be past carin'.

My eyes are dry, I cannot cry, I've got no heart for breakin', But where it was in days gone by, A dull and empty achin'. My last boy ran away from me, I know my temper's wearin', But now I only wish to be Beyond all signs of carin'. Past wearyin' or carin', Past feelin' and despairin'; And now I only wish to be Beyond all signs of carin'.

The Glass on the Bar

Three bushmen one morning rode up to an inn, And one of them called for the drinks with a grin; They'd only returned from a trip to the North, And, eager to greet them, the landlord came forth. He absently poured out a glass of Three Star. And set down that drink with the rest on the bar.

'There, that is for Harry,' he said, 'and it's queer, 'Tis the very same glass that he drank from last year; His name's on the glass, you can read it like print, He scratched it himself with an old piece of flint; I remember his drink — it was always Three Star' — And the landlord looked out through the door of the bar.

He looked at the horses, and counted but three: 'You were always together — where's Harry?' cried he. Oh, sadly they looked at the glass as they said, 'You may put it away, for our old mate is dead;' But one, gazing out o'er the ridges afar, Said, 'We owe him a shout — leave the glass on the bar.'

They thought of the far-away grave on the plain, They thought of the comrade who came not again, They lifted their glasses, and sadly they said: 'We drink to the name of the mate who is dead.' And the sunlight streamed in, and a light like a star Seemed to glow in the depth of the glass on the bar.

And still in that shanty a tumbler is seen, It stands by the clock, ever polished and clean; And often the strangers will read as they pass The name of a bushman engraved on the glass; And though on the shelf but a dozen there are, That glass never stands with the rest on the bar.

The Shanty on the Rise

When the caravans of wool-teams climbed the ranges from the West, On a spur among the mountains stood 'The Bullock-drivers' Rest'; It was built of bark and saplings, and was rather rough inside, But 'twas good enough for bushmen in the careless days that died — Just a quiet little shanty kept by 'Something-in-Disguise', As the bushmen called the landlord of the Shanty on the Rise.

City swells who 'do the Royal' would have called the Shanty low, But 'twas better far and purer than some toney pubs I know; For the patrons of the Shanty had the principles of men, And the spieler, if he struck it, wasn't welcome there again. You could smoke and drink in quiet, yarn, or else soliloquise, With a decent lot of fellows in the Shanty on the Rise.

'Twas the bullock-driver's haven when his team was on the road, And the waggon-wheels were groaning as they ploughed beneath the load; And I mind how weary teamsters struggled on while it was light, Just to camp within a cooey of the Shanty for the night; And I think the very bullocks raised their heads and fixed their eyes On the candle in the window of the Shanty on the Rise.

And the bullock-bells were clanking from the marshes on the flats As we hurried to the Shanty, where we hung our dripping hats; And we took a drop of something that was brought at our desire, As we stood with steaming moleskins in the kitchen by the fire. Oh! it roared upon a fireplace of the good, old-fashioned size, When the rain came down the chimney of the Shanty on the Rise.

They got up a Christmas party in the Shanty long ago, While I camped with Jimmy Nowlett on the riverbank below; Poor old Jim was in his glory — they'd elected him M.C., For there wasn't such another raving lunatic as he. 'Mr. Nowlett, Mr. Swaller!' shouted Something-in-Disguise, As we walked into the parlour of the Shanty on the Rise.

There is little real pleasure in the city where I am — There's a swarry round the corner with its mockery and sham; But a fellow can be happy when around the room he whirls In a party up the country with the jolly country girls. Why, at times I almost fancied I was dancing on the skies, When I danced with Mary Carey in the Shanty on the Rise.

Jimmy came to me and whispered, and I muttered, 'Go along!' But he shouted, 'Mr. Swaller will oblige us with a song!' And at first I said I wouldn't, and I shammed a little too, Till the girls began to whisper, 'Mr. Swallow, now, ah, DO!' So I sang a song of something 'bout the love that never dies, And the chorus shook the rafters of the Shanty on the Rise.

Jimmy burst his concertina, and the bullock-drivers went For the corpse of Joe the Fiddler, who was sleeping in his tent; Joe was tired and had lumbago, and he wouldn't come, he said, But the case was very urgent, so they pulled him out of bed; And they fetched him, for the bushmen knew that Something-in-Disguise Had a cure for Joe's lumbago in the Shanty on the Rise.

Jim and I were rather quiet while escorting Mary home, 'Neath the stars that hung in clusters, near and distant, from the dome; And we walked so very silent — being lost in reverie — That we heard the settlers'-matches rustle softly on the tree; And I wondered who would win her when she said her sweet good-byes — But she died at one-and-twenty, and was buried on the Rise.

I suppose the Shanty vanished from the ranges long ago, And the girls are mostly married to the chaps I used to know; My old chums are in the distance — some have crossed the border-line, But in fancy still their glasses chink against the rim of mine. And, upon the very centre of the greenest spot that lies In my fondest recollection, stands the Shanty on the Rise.

The Vagabond

White handkerchiefs wave from the short black pier As we glide to the grand old sea — But the song of my heart is for none to hear If one of them waves for me. A roving, roaming life is mine, Ever by field or flood — For not far back in my father's line Was a dash of the Gipsy blood.

Flax and tussock and fern, Gum and mulga and sand, Reef and palm — but my fancies turn Ever away from land; Strange wild cities in ancient state, Range and river and tree, Snow and ice. But my star of fate Is ever across the sea.

A god-like ride on a thundering sea, When all but the stars are blind — A desperate race from Eternity With a gale-and-a-half behind. A jovial spree in the cabin at night, A song on the rolling deck, A lark ashore with the ships in sight, Till — a wreck goes down with a wreck.

A smoke and a yarn on the deck by day, When life is a waking dream, And care and trouble so far away That out of your life they seem. A roving spirit in sympathy, Who has travelled the whole world o'er — My heart forgets, in a week at sea, The trouble of years on shore.

A rolling stone! — 'tis a saw for slaves — Philosophy false as old — Wear out or break 'neath the feet of knaves, Or rot in your bed of mould! But I'D rather trust to the darkest skies And the wildest seas that roar, Or die, where the stars of Nations rise, In the stormy clouds of war.

Cleave to your country, home, and friends, Die in a sordid strife — You can count your friends on your finger ends In the critical hours of life. Sacrifice all for the family's sake, Bow to their selfish rule! Slave till your big soft heart they break — The heart of the family fool.

Domestic quarrels, and family spite, And your Native Land may be Controlled by custom, but, come what might, The rest of the world for me. I'd sail with money, or sail without! — If your love be forced from home, And you dare enough, and your heart be stout, The world is your own to roam.

I've never a love that can sting my pride, Nor a friend to prove untrue; For I leave my love ere the turning tide, And my friends are all too new. The curse of the Powers on a peace like ours, With its greed and its treachery — A stranger's hand, and a stranger land, And the rest of the world for me!

But why be bitter? The world is cold To one with a frozen heart; New friends are often so like the old, They seem of the past a part — As a better part of the past appears, When enemies, parted long, Are come together in kinder years, With their better nature strong.

I had a friend, ere my first ship sailed, A friend that I never deserved — For the selfish strain in my blood prevailed As soon as my turn was served. And the memory haunts my heart with shame — Or, rather, the pride that's there; In different guises, but soul the same, I meet him everywhere.

I had a chum. When the times were tight We starved in Australian scrubs; We froze together in parks at night, And laughed together in pubs. And I often hear a laugh like his From a sense of humour keen, And catch a glimpse in a passing phiz Of his broad, good-humoured grin.

And I had a love — 'twas a love to prize — But I never went back again . . . I have seen the light of her kind brown eyes In many a face since then.

. . . . .

The sailors say 'twill be rough to-night, As they fasten the hatches down, The south is black, and the bar is white, And the drifting smoke is brown. The gold has gone from the western haze, The sea-birds circle and swarm — But we shall have plenty of sunny days, And little enough of storm.

The hill is hiding the short black pier, As the last white signal's seen; The points run in, and the houses veer, And the great bluff stands between. So darkness swallows each far white speck On many a wharf and quay. The night comes down on a restless deck, — Grim cliffs — and — The Open Sea!


It was somewhere in September, and the sun was going down, When I came, in search of 'copy', to a Darling-River town; 'Come-and-have-a-drink' we'll call it — 'tis a fitting name, I think — And 'twas raining, for a wonder, up at Come-and-have-a-drink.

'Neath the public-house verandah I was resting on a bunk When a stranger rose before me, and he said that he was drunk; He apologised for speaking; there was no offence, he swore; But he somehow seemed to fancy that he'd seen my face before.

'No erfence,' he said. I told him that he needn't mention it, For I might have met him somewhere; I had travelled round a bit, And I knew a lot of fellows in the bush and in the streets — But a fellow can't remember all the fellows that he meets.

Very old and thin and dirty were the garments that he wore, Just a shirt and pair of trousers, and a boot, and nothing more; He was wringing-wet, and really in a sad and sinful plight, And his hat was in his left hand, and a bottle in his right.

His brow was broad and roomy, but its lines were somewhat harsh, And a sensual mouth was hidden by a drooping, fair moustache; (His hairy chest was open to what poets call the 'wined', And I would have bet a thousand that his pants were gone behind).

He agreed: 'Yer can't remember all the chaps yer chance to meet,' And he said his name was Sweeney — people lived in Sussex-street. He was campin' in a stable, but he swore that he was right, 'Only for the blanky horses walkin' over him all night.'

He'd apparently been fighting, for his face was black-and-blue, And he looked as though the horses had been treading on him, too; But an honest, genial twinkle in the eye that wasn't hurt Seemed to hint of something better, spite of drink and rags and dirt.

It appeared that he mistook me for a long-lost mate of his — One of whom I was the image, both in figure and in phiz — (He'd have had a letter from him if the chap were living still, For they'd carried swags together from the Gulf to Broken Hill.)

Sweeney yarned awhile and hinted that his folks were doing well, And he told me that his father kept the Southern Cross Hotel; And I wondered if his absence was regarded as a loss When he left the elder Sweeney — landlord of the Southern Cross.

He was born in Parramatta, and he said, with humour grim, That he'd like to see the city ere the liquor finished him, But he couldn't raise the money. He was damned if he could think What the Government was doing. Here he offered me a drink.

I declined — 'TWAS self-denial — and I lectured him on booze, Using all the hackneyed arguments that preachers mostly use; Things I'd heard in temperance lectures (I was young and rather green), And I ended by referring to the man he might have been.

Then a wise expression struggled with the bruises on his face, Though his argument had scarcely any bearing on the case: 'What's the good o' keepin' sober? Fellers rise and fellers fall; What I might have been and wasn't doesn't trouble me at all.'

But he couldn't stay to argue, for his beer was nearly gone. He was glad, he said, to meet me, and he'd see me later on; He guessed he'd have to go and get his bottle filled again, And he gave a lurch and vanished in the darkness and the rain.

. . . . .

And of afternoons in cities, when the rain is on the land, Visions come to me of Sweeney with his bottle in his hand, With the stormy night behind him, and the pub verandah-post — And I wonder why he haunts me more than any other ghost.

Still I see the shearers drinking at the township in the scrub, And the army praying nightly at the door of every pub, And the girls who flirt and giggle with the bushmen from the west — But the memory of Sweeney overshadows all the rest.

Well, perhaps, it isn't funny; there were links between us two — He had memories of cities, he had been a jackeroo; And, perhaps, his face forewarned me of a face that I might see From a bitter cup reflected in the wretched days to be.

. . . . .

I suppose he's tramping somewhere where the bushmen carry swags, Cadging round the wretched stations with his empty tucker-bags; And I fancy that of evenings, when the track is growing dim, What he 'might have been and wasn't' comes along and troubles him.

Middleton's Rouseabout

Tall and freckled and sandy, Face of a country lout; This was the picture of Andy, Middleton's Rouseabout.

Type of a coming nation, In the land of cattle and sheep, Worked on Middleton's station, 'Pound a week and his keep.'

On Middleton's wide dominions Plied the stockwhip and shears; Hadn't any opinions, Hadn't any 'idears'.

Swiftly the years went over, Liquor and drought prevailed; Middleton went as a drover, After his station had failed.

Type of a careless nation, Men who are soon played out, Middleton was: — and his station Was bought by the Rouseabout.

Flourishing beard and sandy, Tall and robust and stout; This is the picture of Andy, Middleton's Rouseabout.

Now on his own dominions Works with his overseers; Hasn't any opinions, Hasn't any 'idears'.

The Ballad of the Drover

Across the stony ridges, Across the rolling plain, Young Harry Dale, the drover, Comes riding home again. And well his stock-horse bears him, And light of heart is he, And stoutly his old pack-horse Is trotting by his knee.

Up Queensland way with cattle He travelled regions vast; And many months have vanished Since home-folk saw him last. He hums a song of someone He hopes to marry soon; And hobble-chains and camp-ware Keep jingling to the tune.

Beyond the hazy dado Against the lower skies And yon blue line of ranges The homestead station lies. And thitherward the drover Jogs through the lazy noon, While hobble-chains and camp-ware Are jingling to a tune.

An hour has filled the heavens With storm-clouds inky black; At times the lightning trickles Around the drover's track; But Harry pushes onward, His horses' strength he tries, In hope to reach the river Before the flood shall rise.

The thunder from above him Goes rolling o'er the plain; And down on thirsty pastures In torrents falls the rain. And every creek and gully Sends forth its little flood, Till the river runs a banker, All stained with yellow mud.

Now Harry speaks to Rover, The best dog on the plains, And to his hardy horses, And strokes their shaggy manes; 'We've breasted bigger rivers When floods were at their height Nor shall this gutter stop us From getting home to-night!'

The thunder growls a warning, The ghastly lightnings gleam, As the drover turns his horses To swim the fatal stream. But, oh! the flood runs stronger Than e'er it ran before; The saddle-horse is failing, And only half-way o'er!

When flashes next the lightning, The flood's grey breast is blank, And a cattle dog and pack-horse Are struggling up the bank. But in the lonely homestead The girl will wait in vain — He'll never pass the stations In charge of stock again.

The faithful dog a moment Sits panting on the bank, And then swims through the current To where his master sank. And round and round in circles He fights with failing strength, Till, borne down by the waters, The old dog sinks at length.

Across the flooded lowlands And slopes of sodden loam The pack-horse struggles onward, To take dumb tidings home. And mud-stained, wet, and weary, Through ranges dark goes he; While hobble-chains and tinware Are sounding eerily.

. . . . .

The floods are in the ocean, The stream is clear again, And now a verdant carpet Is stretched across the plain. But someone's eyes are saddened, And someone's heart still bleeds In sorrow for the drover Who sleeps among the reeds.

Taking His Chance

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.

When the 'Army' Prays for Watty

When the kindly hours of darkness, save for light of moon and star, Hide the picture on the signboard over Doughty's Horse Bazaar; When the last rose-tint is fading on the distant mulga scrub, Then the Army prays for Watty at the entrance of his pub.

Now, I often sit at Watty's when the night is very near, With a head that's full of jingles and the fumes of bottled beer, For I always have a fancy that, if I am over there When the Army prays for Watty, I'm included in the prayer.

Watty lounges in his arm-chair, in its old accustomed place, With a fatherly expression on his round and passive face; And his arms are clasped before him in a calm, contented way, And he nods his head and dozes when he hears the Army pray.

And I wonder does he ponder on the distant years and dim, Or his chances over yonder, when the Army prays for him? Has he not a fear connected with the warm place down below, Where, according to good Christians, all the publicans should go?

But his features give no token of a feeling in his breast, Save of peace that is unbroken and a conscience well at rest; And we guzzle as we guzzled long before the Army came, And the loafers wait for 'shouters' and — they get there just the same.

It would take a lot of praying — lots of thumping on the drum — To prepare our sinful, straying, erring souls for Kingdom Come; But I love my fellow-sinners, and I hope, upon the whole, That the Army gets a hearing when it prays for Watty's soul.

The Wreck of the 'Derry Castle'

Day of ending for beginnings! Ocean hath another innings, Ocean hath another score; And the surges sing his winnings, And the surges shout his winnings, And the surges shriek his winnings, All along the sullen shore.

Sing another dirge in wailing, For another vessel sailing With the shadow-ships at sea; Shadow-ships for ever sinking — Shadow-ships whose pumps are clinking, And whose thirsty holds are drinking Pledges to Eternity.

Pray for souls of ghastly, sodden Corpses, floating round untrodden Cliffs, where nought but sea-drift strays; Souls of dead men, in whose faces Of humanity no trace is — Not a mark to show their races — Floating round for days and days.

. . . . .

Ocean's salty tongues are licking Round the faces of the drowned, And a cruel blade seems sticking Through my heart and turning round.

Heaven! shall HIS ghastly, sodden Corpse float round for days and days? Shall it dash 'neath cliffs untrodden, Rocks where nought but sea-drift strays?

God in heaven! hide the floating, Falling, rising, face from me; God in heaven! stay the gloating, Mocking singing of the sea!

Ben Duggan

Jack Denver died on Talbragar when Christmas Eve began, And there was sorrow round the place, for Denver was a man; Jack Denver's wife bowed down her head — her daughter's grief was wild, And big Ben Duggan by the bed stood sobbing like a child. But big Ben Duggan saddled up, and galloped fast and far, To raise the longest funeral ever seen on Talbragar.

By station home And shearing shed Ben Duggan cried, 'Jack Denver's dead! Roll up at Talbragar!'

He borrowed horses here and there, and rode all Christmas Eve, And scarcely paused a moment's time the mournful news to leave; He rode by lonely huts and farms, and when the day was done He turned his panting horse's head and rode to Ross's Run. No bushman in a single day had ridden half so far Since Johnson brought the doctor to his wife at Talbragar.

By diggers' camps Ben Duggan sped — At each he cried, 'Jack Denver's dead! Roll up at Talbragar!'

That night he passed the humpies of the splitters on the ridge, And roused the bullock-drivers camped at Belinfante's Bridge; And as he climbed the ridge again the moon shone on the rise; The soft white moonbeams glistened in the tears that filled his eyes; He dashed the rebel drops away — for blinding things they are — But 'twas his best and truest friend who died on Talbragar.

At Blackman's Run Before the dawn, Ben Duggan cried, 'Poor Denver's gone! Roll up at Talbragar!'

At all the shanties round the place they'd heard his horse's tramp, He took the track to Wilson's Luck, and told the diggers' camp; But in the gorge by Deadman's Gap the mountain shades were black, And there a newly-fallen tree was lying on the track — He saw too late, and then he heard the swift hoof's sudden jar, And big Ben Duggan ne'er again rode home to Talbragar.

'The wretch is drunk, And Denver's dead — A burning shame!' the people said Next day at Talbragar.

For thirty miles round Talbragar the boys rolled up in strength, And Denver had a funeral a good long mile in length; Round Denver's grave that Christmas day rough bushmen's eyes were dim — The western bushmen knew the way to bury dead like him; But some returning homeward found, by light of moon and star, Ben Duggan dying in the rocks, five miles from Talbragar.

They knelt around, He raised his head And faintly gasped, 'Jack Denver's dead, Roll up at Talbragar!'

But one short hour before he died he woke to understand, They told him, when he asked them, that the funeral was 'grand'; And then there came into his eyes a strange victorious light, He smiled on them in triumph, and his great soul took its flight. And still the careless bushmen tell by tent and shanty bar How Duggan raised a funeral years back on Talbragar.

And far and wide When Duggan died, The bushmen of the western side Rode in to Talbragar.

The Star of Australasia

We boast no more of our bloodless flag, that rose from a nation's slime; Better a shred of a deep-dyed rag from the storms of the olden time. From grander clouds in our 'peaceful skies' than ever were there before I tell you the Star of the South shall rise — in the lurid clouds of war. It ever must be while blood is warm and the sons of men increase; For ever the nations rose in storm, to rot in a deadly peace. There comes a point that we will not yield, no matter if right or wrong, And man will fight on the battle-field while passion and pride are strong — So long as he will not kiss the rod, and his stubborn spirit sours, And the scorn of Nature and curse of God are heavy on peace like ours.

. . . . .

There are boys out there by the western creeks, who hurry away from school To climb the sides of the breezy peaks or dive in the shaded pool, Who'll stick to their guns when the mountains quake to the tread of a mighty war, And fight for Right or a Grand Mistake as men never fought before; When the peaks are scarred and the sea-walls crack till the furthest hills vibrate, And the world for a while goes rolling back in a storm of love and hate.

. . . . .

There are boys to-day in the city slum and the home of wealth and pride Who'll have one home when the storm is come, and fight for it side by side, Who'll hold the cliffs 'gainst the armoured hells that batter a coastal town, Or grimly die in a hail of shells when the walls come crashing down. And many a pink-white baby girl, the queen of her home to-day, Shall see the wings of the tempest whirl the mist of our dawn away — Shall live to shudder and stop her ears to the thud of the distant gun, And know the sorrow that has no tears when a battle is lost and won, — As a mother or wife in the years to come, will kneel, wild-eyed and white, And pray to God in her darkened home for the 'men in the fort to-night'.

. . . . .

But, oh! if the cavalry charge again as they did when the world was wide, 'Twill be grand in the ranks of a thousand men in that glorious race to ride And strike for all that is true and strong, for all that is grand and brave, And all that ever shall be, so long as man has a soul to save. He must lift the saddle, and close his 'wings', and shut his angels out, And steel his heart for the end of things, who'd ride with a stockman scout, When the race they ride on the battle track, and the waning distance hums, And the shelled sky shrieks or the rifles crack like stockwhip amongst the gums — And the 'straight' is reached and the field is 'gapped' and the hoof-torn sward grows red With the blood of those who are handicapped with iron and steel and lead; And the gaps are filled, though unseen by eyes, with the spirit and with the shades Of the world-wide rebel dead who'll rise and rush with the Bush Brigades.

. . . . .

All creeds and trades will have soldiers there — give every class its due — And there'll be many a clerk to spare for the pride of the jackeroo. They'll fight for honour and fight for love, and a few will fight for gold, For the devil below and for God above, as our fathers fought of old; And some half-blind with exultant tears, and some stiff-lipped, stern-eyed, For the pride of a thousand after-years and the old eternal pride; The soul of the world they will feel and see in the chase and the grim retreat — They'll know the glory of victory — and the grandeur of defeat.

The South will wake to a mighty change ere a hundred years are done With arsenals west of the mountain range and every spur its gun. And many a rickety son of a gun, on the tides of the future tossed, Will tell how battles were really won that History says were lost, Will trace the field with his pipe, and shirk the facts that are hard to explain, As grey old mates of the diggings work the old ground over again — How 'this was our centre, and this a redoubt, and that was a scrub in the rear, And this was the point where the guards held out, and the enemy's lines were here.'

. . . . .

They'll tell the tales of the nights before and the tales of the ship and fort Till the sons of Australia take to war as their fathers took to sport, Their breath come deep and their eyes grow bright at the tales of our chivalry, And every boy will want to fight, no matter what cause it be — When the children run to the doors and cry: 'Oh, mother, the troops are come!' And every heart in the town leaps high at the first loud thud of the drum. They'll know, apart from its mystic charm, what music is at last, When, proud as a boy with a broken arm, the regiment marches past. And the veriest wreck in the drink-fiend's clutch, no matter how low or mean, Will feel, when he hears the march, a touch of the man that he might have been. And fools, when the fiends of war are out and the city skies aflame, Will have something better to talk about than an absent woman's shame, Will have something nobler to do by far than jest at a friend's expense, Or blacken a name in a public bar or over a backyard fence. And this you learn from the libelled past, though its methods were somewhat rude — A nation's born where the shells fall fast, or its lease of life renewed. We in part atone for the ghoulish strife, and the crimes of the peace we boast, And the better part of a people's life in the storm comes uppermost.

The self-same spirit that drives the man to the depths of drink and crime Will do the deeds in the heroes' van that live till the end of time. The living death in the lonely bush, the greed of the selfish town, And even the creed of the outlawed push is chivalry — upside down. 'Twill be while ever our blood is hot, while ever the world goes wrong, The nations rise in a war, to rot in a peace that lasts too long. And southern nation and southern state, aroused from their dream of ease, Must sign in the Book of Eternal Fate their stormy histories.

The Great Grey Plain

Out West, where the stars are brightest, Where the scorching north wind blows, And the bones of the dead gleam whitest, And the sun on a desert glows — Yet within the selfish kingdom Where man starves man for gain, Where white men tramp for existence — Wide lies the Great Grey Plain.

No break in its awful horizon, No blur in the dazzling haze, Save where by the bordering timber The fierce, white heat-waves blaze, And out where the tank-heap rises Or looms when the sunlights wane, Till it seems like a distant mountain Low down on the Great Grey Plain.

No sign of a stream or fountain, No spring on its dry, hot breast, No shade from the blazing noontide Where a weary man might rest. Whole years go by when the glowing Sky never clouds for rain — Only the shrubs of the desert Grow on the Great Grey Plain.

From the camp, while the rich man's dreaming, Come the 'traveller' and his mate, In the ghastly dawnlight seeming Like a swagman's ghost out late; And the horseman blurs in the distance, While still the stars remain, A low, faint dust-cloud haunting His track on the Great Grey Plain.

And all day long from before them The mirage smokes away — That daylight ghost of an ocean Creeps close behind all day With an evil, snake-like motion, As the waves of a madman's brain: 'Tis a phantom NOT like water Out there on the Great Grey Plain.

There's a run on the Western limit Where a man lives like a beast, And a shanty in the mulga That stretches to the East; And the hopeless men who carry Their swags and tramp in pain — The footmen must not tarry Out there on the Great Grey Plain.

Out West, where the stars are brightest, Where the scorching north wind blows, And the bones of the dead seem whitest, And the sun on a desert glows — Out back in the hungry distance That brave hearts dare in vain — Where beggars tramp for existence — There lies the Great Grey Plain.

'Tis a desert not more barren Than the Great Grey Plain of years, Where a fierce fire burns the hearts of men — Dries up the fount of tears: Where the victims of a greed insane Are crushed in a hell-born strife — Where the souls of a race are murdered On the Great Grey Plain of Life!

The Song of Old Joe Swallow

When I was up the country in the rough and early days, I used to work along ov Jimmy Nowlett's bullick-drays; Then the reelroad wasn't heered on, an' the bush was wild an' strange, An' we useter draw the timber from the saw-pits in the range — Load provisions for the stations, an' we'd travel far and slow Through the plains an' 'cross the ranges in the days of long ago.

Then it's yoke up the bullicks and tramp beside 'em slow, An' saddle up yer horses an' a-ridin' we will go, To the bullick-drivin', cattle-drovin', Nigger, digger, roarin', rovin' Days o' long ago.

Once me and Jimmy Nowlett loaded timber for the town, But we hadn't gone a dozen mile before the rain come down, An' me an' Jimmy Nowlett an' the bullicks an' the dray Was cut off on some risin' ground while floods around us lay; An' we soon run short of tucker an' terbacca, which was bad, An' pertaters dipped in honey was the only tuck we had.

An' half our bullicks perished when the drought was on the land, An' the burnin' heat that dazzles as it dances on the sand; When the sun-baked clay an' gravel paves for miles the burnin' creeks, An' at ev'ry step yer travel there a rottin' carcase reeks — But we pulled ourselves together, for we never used ter know What a feather bed was good for in those days o' long ago.

But in spite ov barren ridges an' in spite ov mud an' heat, An' dust that browned the bushes when it rose from bullicks' feet, An' in spite ov cold and chilblains when the bush was white with frost, An' in spite of muddy water where the burnin' plain was crossed, An' in spite of modern progress, and in spite of all their blow, 'Twas a better land to live in, in the days o' long ago.

When the frosty moon was shinin' o'er the ranges like a lamp, An' a lot of bullick-drivers was a-campin' on the camp, When the fire was blazin' cheery an' the pipes was drawin' well, Then our songs we useter chorus an' our yarns we useter tell; An' we'd talk ov lands we come from, and ov chaps we useter know, For there always was behind us OTHER days o' long ago.

Ah, them early days was ended when the reelroad crossed the plain, But in dreams I often tramp beside the bullick-team again: Still we pauses at the shanty just to have a drop er cheer, Still I feels a kind ov pleasure when the campin'-ground is near; Still I smells the old tarpaulin me an' Jimmy useter throw O'er the timber-truck for shelter in the days ov long ago.

I have been a-driftin' back'ards with the changes ov the land, An' if I spoke ter bullicks now they wouldn't understand, But when Mary wakes me sudden in the night I'll often say: 'Come here, Spot, an' stan' up, Bally, blank an' blank an' come-eer-way.' An' she says that, when I'm sleepin', oft my elerquince 'ill flow In the bullick-drivin' language ov the days o' long ago.

Well, the pub will soon be closin', so I'll give the thing a rest; But if you should drop on Nowlett in the far an' distant west — An' if Jimmy uses doubleyou instead of ar an' vee, An' if he drops his aitches, then you're sure to know it's he. An' yer won't forgit to arsk him if he still remembers Joe As knowed him up the country in the days o' long ago.

Then it's yoke up the bullicks and tramp beside 'em slow, An' saddle up yer horses an' a-ridin' we will go, To the bullick-drivin', cattle-drovin', Nigger, digger, roarin', rovin' Days o' long ago.

Corny Bill

His old clay pipe stuck in his mouth, His hat pushed from his brow, His dress best fitted for the South — I think I see him now; And when the city streets are still, And sleep upon me comes, I often dream that me an' Bill Are humpin' of our drums.

I mind the time when first I came A stranger to the land; And I was stumped, an' sick, an' lame When Bill took me in hand. Old Bill was what a chap would call A friend in poverty, And he was very kind to all, And very good to me.

We'd camp beneath the lonely trees And sit beside the blaze, A-nursin' of our wearied knees, A-smokin' of our clays. Or when we'd journeyed damp an' far, An' clouds were in the skies, We'd camp in some old shanty bar, And sit a-tellin' lies.

Though time had writ upon his brow And rubbed away his curls, He always was — an' may be now — A favourite with the girls; I've heard bush-wimmin scream an' squall — I've see'd 'em laugh until They could not do their work at all, Because of Corny Bill.

He was the jolliest old pup As ever you did see, And often at some bush kick-up They'd make old Bill M.C. He'd make them dance and sing all night, He'd make the music hum, But he'd be gone at mornin' light A-humpin' of his drum.

Though joys of which the poet rhymes Was not for Bill an' me, I think we had some good old times Out on the wallaby. I took a wife and left off rum, An' camped beneath a roof; But Bill preferred to hump his drum A-paddin' of the hoof.

The lazy, idle loafers what In toney houses camp Would call old Bill a drunken sot, A loafer, or a tramp; But if the dead should ever dance — As poets say they will — I think I'd rather take my chance Along of Corny Bill.

His long life's-day is nearly o'er, Its shades begin to fall; He soon must mount his bluey for The last long tramp of all; I trust that when, in bush an' town, He's lived and learnt his fill, They'll let the golden slip-rails down For poor old Corny Bill.

Cherry-Tree Inn

The rafters are open to sun, moon, and star, Thistles and nettles grow high in the bar — The chimneys are crumbling, the log fires are dead, And green mosses spring from the hearthstone instead. The voices are silent, the bustle and din, For the railroad hath ruined the Cherry-tree Inn.

Save the glimmer of stars, or the moon's pallid streams, And the sounds of the 'possums that camp on the beams, The bar-room is dark and the stable is still, For the coach comes no more over Cherry-tree Hill. No riders push on through the darkness to win The rest and the comfort of Cherry-tree Inn.

I drift from my theme, for my memory strays To the carrying, digging, and bushranging days — Far back to the seasons that I love the best, When a stream of wild diggers rushed into the west, But the 'rushes' grew feeble, and sluggish, and thin, Till scarcely a swagman passed Cherry-tree Inn.

Do you think, my old mate (if it's thinking you be), Of the days when you tramped to the goldfields with me? Do you think of the day of our thirty-mile tramp, When never a fire could we light on the camp, And, weary and footsore and drenched to the skin, We tramped through the darkness to Cherry-tree Inn?

Then I had a sweetheart and you had a wife, And Johnny was more to his mother than life; But we solemnly swore, ere that evening was done, That we'd never return till our fortunes were won. Next morning to harvests of folly and sin We tramped o'er the ranges from Cherry-tree Inn.

. . . . .

The years have gone over with many a change, And there comes an old swagman from over the range, And faint 'neath the weight of his rain-sodden load, He suddenly thinks of the inn by the road. He tramps through the darkness the shelter to win, And reaches the ruins of Cherry-tree Inn.

Up the Country

I am back from up the country — very sorry that I went — Seeking for the Southern poets' land whereon to pitch my tent; I have lost a lot of idols, which were broken on the track, Burnt a lot of fancy verses, and I'm glad that I am back. Further out may be the pleasant scenes of which our poets boast, But I think the country's rather more inviting round the coast. Anyway, I'll stay at present at a boarding-house in town, Drinking beer and lemon-squashes, taking baths and cooling down.

'Sunny plains'! Great Scott! — those burning wastes of barren soil and sand With their everlasting fences stretching out across the land! Desolation where the crow is! Desert where the eagle flies, Paddocks where the luny bullock starts and stares with reddened eyes; Where, in clouds of dust enveloped, roasted bullock-drivers creep Slowly past the sun-dried shepherd dragged behind his crawling sheep. Stunted peak of granite gleaming, glaring like a molten mass Turned from some infernal furnace on a plain devoid of grass.

Miles and miles of thirsty gutters — strings of muddy water-holes In the place of 'shining rivers' — 'walled by cliffs and forest boles.' Barren ridges, gullies, ridges! where the ever-madd'ning flies — Fiercer than the plagues of Egypt — swarm about your blighted eyes! Bush! where there is no horizon! where the buried bushman sees Nothing — Nothing! but the sameness of the ragged, stunted trees! Lonely hut where drought's eternal, suffocating atmosphere Where the God-forgotten hatter dreams of city life and beer.

Treacherous tracks that trap the stranger, endless roads that gleam and glare, Dark and evil-looking gullies, hiding secrets here and there! Dull dumb flats and stony rises, where the toiling bullocks bake, And the sinister 'gohanna', and the lizard, and the snake. Land of day and night — no morning freshness, and no afternoon, When the great white sun in rising bringeth summer heat in June. Dismal country for the exile, when the shades begin to fall From the sad heart-breaking sunset, to the new-chum worst of all.

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