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Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

A Ballad of Ducks

 The railway rattled and roared and swung 
With jolting and bumping trucks.
The sun, like a billiard red ball, hung In the Western sky: and the tireless tongue Of the wild-eyed man in the corner told This terrible tale of the days of old, And the party that ought to have kept the ducks.
"Well, it ain't all joy bein' on the land With an overdraft that'd knock you flat; And the rabbits have pretty well took command; But the hardest thing for a man to stand Is the feller who says 'Well I told you so! You should ha' done this way, don't you know!' -- I could lay a bait for a man like that.
"The grasshoppers struck us in ninety-one And what they leave -- well, it ain't de luxe.
But a growlin' fault-findin' son of a gun Who'd lent some money to stock our run -- I said they'd eaten what grass we had -- Says he, 'Your management's very bad; You had a right to have kept some ducks!' "To have kept some ducks! And the place was white! Wherever you went you had to tread On grasshoppers guzzlin' day and night; And then with a swoosh they rose in flight, If you didn't look out for yourself they'd fly Like bullets into your open eye And knock it out of the back of your head.
"There isn't a turkey or goose or swan, Or a duck that quacks, or a hen that clucks, Can make a difference on a run When a grasshopper plague has once begun; 'If you'd finance us,' I says, 'I'd buy Ten thousand emus and have a try; The job,' I says, 'is too big for ducks! "'You must fetch a duck when you come to stay; A great big duck -- a Muscovy toff -- Ready and fit,' I says, 'for the fray; And if the grasshoppers come our way You turn your duck into the lucerne patch, And I'd be ready to make a match That the grasshoppers eat his feathers off!" "He came to visit us by and by, And it just so happened one day in spring A kind of cloud came over the sky -- A wall of grasshoppers nine miles high, And nine miles thick, and nine hundred wide, Flyin' in regiments, side by side, And eatin' up every living thing.
"All day long, like a shower of rain, You'd hear 'em smackin' against the wall, Tap, tap, tap, on the window pane, And they'd rise and jump at the house again Till their crippled carcasses piled outside.
But what did it matter if thousands died -- A million wouldn't be missed at all.
"We were drinkin' grasshoppers -- so to speak -- Till we skimmed their carcasses off the spring; And they fell so thick in the station creek They choked the waterholes all the week.
There was scarcely room for a trout to rise, And they'd only take artificial flies -- They got so sick of the real thing.
"An Arctic snowstorm was beat to rags When the hoppers rose for their morning flight With the flapping noise like a million flags: And the kitchen chimney was stuffed with bags For they'd fall right into the fire, and fry Till the cook sat down and began to cry -- And never a duck or fowl in sight.
"We strolled across to the railroad track -- Under a cover beneath some trucks, I sees a feather and hears a quack; I stoops and I pulls the tarpaulin back -- Every duck in the place was there, No good to them was the open air.
'Mister,' I says, 'There's your blanky ducks!'"
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

Old Schooldays

 Awake, of Muse, the echoes of a day 
Long past, the ghosts of mem'ries manifold -- 
Youth's memories that once were green and gold 
But now, alas, are grim and ashen grey.
The drowsy schoolboy wakened up from sleep, First stays his system with substantial food, Then off for school with tasks half understood, Alas, alas, that cribs should be so cheap! The journey down to town -- 'twere long to tell The storm and riot of the rabble rout; The wild Walpurgis revel in and out That made the ferry boat a floating hell.
What time the captive locusts fairly roared: And bulldog ants, made stingless with a knife, Climbed up the seats and scared the very life From timid folk, who near jumped overboard.
The hours of lessons -- hours with feet of clay Each hour a day, each day more like a week: While hapless urchins heard with blanched cheek The words of doom "Come in on Saturday".
The master gowned and spectacled, precise, Trying to rule by methods firm and kind But always just a little bit behind The latest villainy, the last device, Born of some smoothfaced urchin's fertile brain To irritate the hapless pedagogue, And first involve him in a mental fog Then "have" him with the same old tale again.
The "bogus" fight that brought the sergeant down To that dark corner by the old brick wall, Where mimic combat and theatric brawl Made noise enough to terrify the town.
But on wet days the fray was genuine, When small boys pushed each other in the mud And fought in silence till thin streams of blood Their dirty faces would incarnadine.
The football match or practice in the park With rampant hoodlums joining in the game Till on one famous holiday there came A gang that seized the football for a lark.
Then raged the combat without rest or pause, Till one, a hero, Hawkins unafraid Regained the ball, and later on displayed His nose knocked sideways in his country's cause.
Before the mind quaint visions rise and fall, Old jokes, old students dead and gone: And some that lead us still, while some toil on As rank and file, but "Grammar" children all.
And he, the pilot, who has laid the course For all to steer by, honest, unafraid -- Truth is his beacon light, so he has made The name of the old School a living force.
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

Song of the Future

 'Tis strange that in a land so strong 
So strong and bold in mighty youth, 
We have no poet's voice of truth 
To sing for us a wondrous song.
Our chiefest singer yet has sung In wild, sweet notes a passing strain, All carelessly and sadly flung To that dull world he thought so vain.
"I care for nothing, good nor bad, My hopes are gone, my pleasures fled, I am but sifting sand," he said: What wonder Gordon's songs were sad! And yet, not always sad and hard; In cheerful mood and light of heart He told the tale of Britomarte, And wrote the Rhyme of Joyous Garde.
And some have said that Nature's face To us is always sad; but these Have never felt the smiling grace Of waving grass and forest trees On sunlit plains as wide as seas.
"A land where dull Despair is king O'er scentless flowers and songless bird!" But we have heard the bell-birds ring Their silver bells at eventide, Like fairies on the mountain side, The sweetest note man ever heard.
The wild thrush lifts a note of mirth; The bronzewing pigeons call and coo Beside their nests the long day through; The magpie warbles clear and strong A joyous, glad, thanksgiving song, For all God's mercies upon earth.
And many voices such as these Are joyful sounds for those to tell, Who know the Bush and love it well, With all its hidden mysteries.
We cannot love the restless sea, That rolls and tosses to and fro Like some fierce creature in its glee; For human weal or human woe It has no touch of sympathy.
For us the bush is never sad: Its myriad voices whisper low, In tones the bushmen only know, Its sympathy and welcome glad.
For us the roving breezes bring From many a blossum-tufted tree -- Where wild bees murmur dreamily -- The honey-laden breath of Spring.
* * * * We have our tales of other days, Good tales the northern wanderers tell When bushmen meet and camp-fires blaze, And round the ring of dancing light The great, dark bush with arms of night Folds every hearer in its spell.
We have our songs -- not songs of strife And hot blood spilt on sea and land; But lilts that link achievement grand To honest toil and valiant life.
Lift ye your faces to the sky Ye barrier mountains in the west Who lie so peacefully at rest Enshrouded in a haze of blue; 'Tis hard to feel that years went by Before the pioneers broke through Your rocky heights and walls of stone, And made your secrets all their own.
For years the fertile Western plains Were hid behind your sullen walls, Your cliffs and crags and waterfalls All weatherworn with tropic rains.
Between the mountains and the sea Like Israelites with staff in hand, The people waited restlessly: They looked towards the mountains old And saw the sunsets come and go With gorgeous golden afterglow, That made the West a fairyland, And marvelled what that West might be Of which such wondrous tales were told.
For tales were told of inland seas Like sullen oceans, salt and dead, And sandy deserts, white and wan, Where never trod the foot of man, Nor bird went winging overhead, Nor ever stirred a gracious breeze To wake the silence with its breath -- A land of loneliness and death.
At length the hardy pioneers By rock and crag found out the way, And woke with voices of today A silence kept for years and tears.
Upon the Western slope they stood And saw -- a wide expanse of plain As far as eye could stretch or see Go rolling westward endlessly.
The native grasses, tall as grain, Bowed, waved and rippled in the breeze; From boughs of blossom-laden trees The parrots answered back again.
They saw the land that it was good, A land of fatness all untrod, And gave their silent thanks to God.
The way is won! The way is won! And straightway from the barren coast There came a westward-marching host, That aye and ever onward prest With eager faces to the West, Along the pathway of the sun.
The mountains saw them marching by: They faced the all-consuming drought, They would not rest in settled land: But, taking each his life in hand, Their faces ever westward bent Beyond the farthest settlement, Responding to the challenge cry of "better country farther out".
And lo, a miracle! the land But yesterday was all unknown, The wild man's boomerang was thrown Where now great busy cities stand.
It was not much, you say, that these Should win their way where none withstood; In sooth there was not much of blood -- No war was fought between the seas.
It was not much! but we who know The strange capricious land they trod -- At times a stricken, parching sod, At times with raging floods beset -- Through which they found their lonely way Are quite content that you should say It was not much, while we can feel That nothing in the ages old, In song or story written yet On Grecian urn or Roman arch, Though it should ring with clash of steel, Could braver histories unfold Than this bush story, yet untold -- The story of their westward march.
* * * * But times are changed, and changes rung From old to new -- the olden days, The old bush life and all its ways, Are passing from us all unsung.
The freedom, and the hopeful sense Of toil that brought due recompense, Of room for all, has passed away, And lies forgotten with the dead.
Within our streets men cry for bread In cities built but yesterday.
About us stretches wealth of land, A boundless wealth of virgin soil As yet unfruitful and untilled! Our willing workmen, strong and skilled, Within our cities idle stand, And cry aloud for leave to toil.
The stunted children come and go In squalid lanes and alleys black: We follow but the beaten track Of other nations, and we grow In wealth for some -- for many, woe.
And it may be that we who live In this new land apart, beyond The hard old world grown fierce and fond And bound by precedent and bond, May read the riddle right, and give New hope to those who dimly see That all things yet shall be for good, And teach the world at length to be One vast united brotherhood.
* * * * So may it be! and he who sings In accents hopeful, clear, and strong, The glories which that future brings Shall sing, indeed, a wondrous song.
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

A Song of the Pen

 Not for the love of women toil we, we of the craft, 
Not for the people's praise; 
Only because our goddess made us her own and laughed, 
Claiming us all our days, 
Claiming our best endeavour -- body and heart and brain 
Given with no reserve -- 
Niggard is she towards us, granting us little gain: 
Still, we are proud to serve.
Not unto us is given choice of the tasks we try, Gathering grain or chaff; One of her favoured servants toils at an epic high, One, that a child may laugh.
Yet if we serve her truly in our appointed place, Freely she doth accord Unto her faithful servants always this saving grace, Work is its own reward!
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

The Scapegoat

 We have all of us read how the Israelites fled 
From Egypt with Pharaoh in eager pursuit of 'em, 
And Pharaoh's fierce troop were all put "in the soup" 
When the waters rolled softly o'er every galoot of 'em.
The Jews were so glad when old Pharaoh was "had" That they sounded their timbrels and capered like mad.
You see he was hated from Jordan to Cairo -- Whence comes the expression "to buck against faro".
For forty long years, 'midst perils and fears In deserts with never a famine to follow by, The Israelite horde went roaming abroad Like so many sundowners "out on the wallaby".
When Moses, who led 'em, and taught 'em, and fed 'em, Was dying, he murmured, "A rorty old hoss you are: I give you command of the whole of the band" -- And handed the Government over to Joshua.
But Moses told 'em before he died, "Wherever you are, whatever betide, Every year as the time draws near By lot or by rote choose you a goat, And let the high priest confess on the beast The sins of the people the worst and the least, Lay your sins on the goat! Sure the plan ought to suit yer.
Because all your sins are 'his troubles' in future.
Then lead him away to the wilderness black To die with the weight of your sins on his back: Of thirst let him perish alone and unshriven, For thus shall your sins be absolved and forgiven!" 'Tis needless to say, though it reeked of barbarity This scapegoat arrangement gained great popularity.
By this means a Jew, whate'er he might do, Though he burgled, or murdered, or cheated at loo, Or meat on Good Friday (a sin most terrific) ate, Could get his discharge, like a bankrupt's certificate; Just here let us note -- Did they choose their best goat? It's food for conjecture, to judge from the picture By Hunt in the Gallery close to our door, a Man well might suppose that the scapegoat they chose Was a long way from being their choicest Angora.
In fact I should think he was one of their weediest: 'Tis a rule that obtains, no matter who reigns, When making a sacrifice, offer the seediest; Which accounts for a theory known to my hearers Who live in the wild by the wattle beguiled, That a "stag" makes quite good enough mutton for shearers.
Be that as it may, as each year passed away, a scapegoat was led to the desert and freighted With sin (the poor brute must have been overweighted) And left there -- to die as his fancy dictated.
The day it has come, with trumpet and drum.
With pomp and solemnity fit for the tomb They lead the old billy-goat off to his doom: On every hand a reverend band, Prophets and preachers and elders stand And the oldest rabbi, with a tear in his eye, Delivers a sermon to all standing by.
(We haven't his name -- whether Cohen or Harris, he No doubt was the "poisonest" kind of Pharisee.
) The sermon was marked by a deal of humility And pointed the fact, with no end of ability.
That being a Gentile's no mark of gentility, And, according to Samuel, would certainly d--n you well.
Then, shedding his coat, he approaches the goat And, while a red fillet he carefully pins on him, Confesses the whole of the Israelites' sins on him.
With this eloquent burst he exhorts the accurst -- "Go forth in the desert and perish in woe, The sins of the people are whiter than snow!" Then signs to his pal "for to let the brute go".
(That "pal" as I've heard, is an elegant word, Derived from the Persian "Palaykhur" or "Pallaghur"), As the scapegoat strains and tugs at the reins The Rabbi yells rapidly, "Let her go, Gallagher!" The animal, freed from all restraint Lowered his head, made a kind of feint, And charged straight at that elderly saint.
So fierce his attack and so very severe, it Quite floored the Rabbi, who, ere he could fly, Was rammed on the -- no, not the back -- but just near it.
The scapegoat he snorted, and wildly cavorted, A light-hearted antelope "out on the ramp", Then stopped, looked around, got the "lay of the ground", And made a beeline back again to the camp.
The elderly priest, as he noticed the beast So gallantly making his way to the east, Says he, "From the tents may I never more roam again If that there old billy-goat ain't going home again.
He's hurrying, too! This never will do.
Can't somebody stop him? I'm all of a stew.
After all our confessions, so openly granted, He's taking our sins back to where they're not wanted.
We've come all this distance salvation to win agog, If he takes home our sins, it'll burst up the Synagogue!" He turned to an Acolyte who was making his bacca light, A fleet-footed youth who could run like a crack o' light.
"Run, Abraham, run! Hunt him over the plain, And drive back the brute to the desert again.
The Sphinx is a-watching, the Pyramids will frown on you, From those granite tops forty cent'ries look down on you -- Run, Abraham, run! I'll bet half-a-crown on you.
" So Abraham ran, like a man did he go for him, But the goat made it clear each time he drew near That he had what the racing men call "too much toe" for him.
The crowd with great eagerness studied the race -- "Great Scott! isn't Abraham forcing the pace -- And don't the goat spiel? It is hard to keep sight on him, The sins of the Israelites ride mighty light on him.
The scapegoat is leading a furlong or more, And Abraham's tiring -- I'll lay six to four! He rolls in his stride; he's done, there's no question!" But here the old Rabbi brought up a suggestion.
('Twas strange that in racing he showed so much cunning), "It's a hard race," said he, "and I think it would be A good thing for someone to take up the running.
" As soon said as done, they started to run -- The priests and the deacons, strong runners and weak 'uns All reckoned ere long to come up with the brute, And so the whole boiling set off in pursuit.
And then it came out, as the rabble and rout Streamed over the desert with many a shout -- The Rabbi so elderly, grave, and patrician, Had been in his youth a bold metallician, And offered, in gasps, as they merrily spieled, "Any price Abraham! Evens the field!" Alas! the whole clan, they raced and they ran, And Abraham proved him an "even time" man, But the goat -- now a speck they could scarce keep their eyes on -- Stretched out in his stride in a style most surprisin' And vanished ere long o'er the distant horizon.
Away in the camp the bill-sticker's tramp Is heard as he wanders with paste, brush, and notices, And paling and wall he plasters them all, "I wonder how's things gettin' on with the goat," he says, The pulls out his bills, "Use Solomon's Pills" "Great Stoning of Christians! To all devout Jews! you all Must each bring a stone -- Great sport will be shown; Enormous Attractions! And prices as usual! Roll up to the Hall!! Wives, children and all, For naught the most delicate feelings to hurt is meant!!" Here his eyes opened wide, for close by his side Was the scapegoat: And eating his latest advertisement! One shriek from him burst -- "You creature accurst!" And he ran from the spot like one fearing the worst.
His language was chaste, as he fled in his haste, But the goat stayed behind him -- and "scoffed up" the paste.
With downcast head, and sorrowful tread, The people came back from the desert in dread.
"The goat -- was he back there? Had anyone heard of him?" In very short order they got plenty word of him.
In fact as they wandered by street, lane and hall, "The trail of the serpent was over them all.
" A poor little child knocked out stiff in the gutter Proclaimed that the scapegoat was bred for a "butter".
The bill-sticker's pail told a sorrowful tale, The scapegoat had licked it as dry as a nail; He raced through their houses, and frightened their spouses, But his latest achievement most anger arouses, For while they were searching, and scratching their craniums, One little Ben Ourbed, who looked in the flow'r-bed, Discovered him eating the Rabbi's geraniums.
Moral The moral is patent to all the beholders -- Don't shift your own sins on to other folks' shoulders; Be kind to dumb creatures and never abuse them, Nor curse them nor kick them, nor spitefully use them: Take their lives if needs must -- when it comes to the worst, But don't let them perish of hunger or thirst.
Remember, no matter how far you may roam That dogs, goats, and chickens, it's simply the dickens, Their talent stupendous for "getting back home".
Your sins, without doubt, will aye find you out, And so will a scapegoat, he's bound to achieve it, But, die in the wilderness! Don't you believe it!
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

Song of the Wheat

 We have sung the song of the droving days, 
Of the march of the travelling sheep; 
By silent stages and lonely ways 
Thin, white battalions creep.
But the man who now by the land would thrive Must his spurs to a plough-share beat.
Is there ever a man in the world alive To sing the song of the Wheat! It's west by south of the Great Divide The grim grey plains run out, Where the old flock-masters lived and died In a ceaseless fight with drought.
Weary with waiting and hope deferred They were ready to own defeat, Till at last they heard the master-word— And the master-word was Wheat.
Yarran and Myall and Box and Pine— ’Twas axe and fire for all; They scarce could tarry to blaze the line Or wait for the trees to fall, Ere the team was yoked, and the gates flung wide, And the dust of the horses’ feet Rose up like a pillar of smoke to guide The wonderful march of Wheat.
Furrow by furrow, and fold by fold, The soil is turned on the plain; Better than silver and better than gold Is the surface-mine of the grain; Better than cattle and better than sheep In the fight with drought and heat; For a streak of stubbornness, wide and deep, Lies hid in a grain of Wheat.
When the stock is swept by the hand of fate, Deep down in his bed of clay The brave brown Wheat will lie and wait For the resurrection day: Lie hid while the whole world thinks him dead; But the Spring-rain, soft and sweet, Will over the steaming paddocks spread The first green flush of the Wheat.
Green and amber and gold it grows When the sun sinks late in the West; And the breeze sweeps over the rippling rows Where the quail and the skylark nest.
Mountain or river or shining star, There’s never a sight can beat— Away to the sky-line stretching far— A sea of the ripening Wheat.
When the burning harvest sun sinks low, And the shadows stretch on the plain, The roaring strippers come and go Like ships on a sea of grain; Till the lurching, groaning waggons bear Their tale of the load complete.
Of the world’s great work he has done his share Who has gathered a crop of wheat.
Princes and Potentates and Czars, They travel in regal state, But old King Wheat has a thousand cars For his trip to the water-gate; And his thousand steamships breast the tide And plough thro’ the wind and sleet To the lands where the teeming millions bide That say: “Thank God for Wheat!”
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

The Ballad of M. T. Nutt and His Dog

 The Honourable M.
T.
Nutt About the bush did jog.
Till, passing by a settler's hut, He stopped and bought a dog.
Then started homewards full of hope, Alas, that hopes should fail! The dog pulled back and took the rope Beneath the horse's tail.
The Horse remarked, "I would be soft Such liberties to stand!" "Oh dog," he said, "Go up aloft, Young man, go on the land!"
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

The Incantation

 Scene: Federal Political Arena 
A darkened cave.
In the middle, a cauldron, boiling.
Enter the three witches.
1ST WITCH: Thrice hath the Federal Jackass brayed.
2ND WITCH: Once the Bruce-Smith War-horse neighed.
3RD WITCH: So Georgie comes, 'tis time, 'tis time, Around the cauldron to chant our rhyme.
1ST WITCH: In the cauldron boil and bake Fillet of a tariff snake, Home-made flannels -- mostly cotton, Apples full of moths, and rotten, Lamb that perished in the drought, Starving stock from "furthest out", Drops of sweat from cultivators, Sweating to feed legislators.
Grime from a white stoker's nob, Toiling at a nigger's job.
Thus the great Australian Nation, Seeks political salvation.
ALL: Double, double, toil and trouble, Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
2ND WITCH: Heel-taps from the threepenny bars, Ash from Socialist cigars.
Leathern tongue of boozer curst With the great Australian thirst, Two-up gambler keeping dark, Loafer sleeping in the park -- Drop them in to prove the sequel, All men are born free and equal.
ALL: Double, double, toil and trouble, Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
3RD WITCH:Lung of Labour agitator, Gall of Isaacs turning traitor; Spleen that Kingston has revealed, Sawdust stuffing out of Neild; Mix them up, and then combine With duplicity of Lyne, Alfred Deakin's gift of gab, Mix the gruel thick and slab.
ALL: Double, double, toil and trouble, Heav'n help Australia in her trouble.
HECATE: Oh, well done, I commend your pains, And everyone shall share i' the gains, And now about the cauldron sing, Enchanting all that you put in.
Round about the cauldron go, In the People's rights we'll throw, Cool it with an Employer's blood, Then the charm stands firm and good, And thus with chaos in possession, Ring in the coming Fed'ral Session.
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

Santa Claus

 "HALT! Who goes there?” The sentry’s call 
Rose on the midnight air 
Above the noises of the camp, 
The roll of wheels, the horses’ tramp.
The challenge echoed over all— “Halt! Who goes there?” A quaint old figure clothed in white, He bore a staff of pine, An ivy-wreath was on his head.
“Advance, oh friend,” the sentry said, “Advance, for this is Christmas night, And give the countersign.
” “No sign nor countersign have I, Through many lands I roam The whole world over far and wide, To exiles all at Christmastide, From those who love them tenderly I bring a thought of home.
“From English brook and Scottish burn, From cold Canadian snows, From those far lands ye hold most dear I bring you all a greeting here, A frond of a New Zealand fern, A bloom of English rose.
“From faithful wife and loving lass I bring a wish divine, For Christmas blessings on your head.
” “I wish you well,” the sentry said, “But here, alas! you may not pass Without the countersign.
” He vanished—and the sentry’s tramp Re-echoed down the line.
It was not till the morning light The soldiers knew that in the night Old Santa Claus had come to camp Without the countersign.
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

Investigating Flora

 'Twas in scientific circles 
That the great Professor Brown 
Had a world-wide reputation 
As a writer of renown.
He had striven finer feelings In our natures to implant By his Treatise on the Morals Of the Red-eyed Bulldog Ant.
He had hoisted an opponent Who had trodden unawares On his "Reasons for Bare Patches On the Female Native Bears".
So they gave him an appointment As instructor to a band Of the most attractive females To be gathered in the land.
'Twas a "Ladies' Science Circle" -- Just the latest social fad For the Nicest People only, And to make their rivals mad.
They were fond of "science rambles" To the country from the town -- A parade of female beauty In the leadership of Brown.
They would pick a place for luncheon And catch beetles on their rugs; The Professor called 'em "optera" -- They calld 'em "nasty bugs".
Well, the thing was bound to perish For no lovely woman can Feel the slightest interest In a club without a Man -- The Professor hardly counted He was crazy as a loon, With a countenance suggestive Of an elderly baboon.
But the breath of Fate blew on it With a sharp and sudden blast, And the "Ladies' Science Circle" Is a memory of the past.
There were two-and-twenty members, Mostly young and mostly fair, Who had made a great excursion To a place called Dontknowwhere, At the crossing of Lost River, On the road to No Man's Land.
There they met an old selector, With a stockwhip in his hand, And the sight of so much beauty Sent him slightly "off his nut"; So he asked them, smiling blandly, "Would they come down to the hut?" "I am come," said the Professor, In his thin and reedy voice, "To investigate your flora, Which I feel is very choice.
" The selector stared dumbfounded, Till at last he found his tongue: "To investigate my Flora! Oh, you howlin' Brigham Young! Why, you've two-and-twenty wimmen -- Reg'lar slap-up wimmen, too! And you're after little Flora! And a crawlin' thing like you! Oh, you Mormonite gorilla! Well, I've heard it from the first That you wizened little fellers Is a hundred times the worst! But a dried-up ape like you are, To be marchin' through the land With a pack of lovely wimmen -- Well, I cannot understand!" "You mistake," said the Professor, In a most indignant tone -- While the ladies shrieked and jabbered In a fashion of their own -- "You mistake about these ladies, I'm a lecturer of theirs; I am Brown, who wrote the Treatise On the Female Native Bears! When I said we wanted flora, What I meant was native flowers.
" "Well, you said you wanted Flora, And I'll swear you don't get ours! But here's Flora's self a-comin', And it's time for you to skip, Or I'll write a treatise on you, And I'll write it with the whip! Now I want no explanations; Just you hook it out of sight, Or you'll charm the poor girl some'ow!" The Professor looked in fright: She was six feet high and freckled, And her hair was turkey-red.
The Professor gave a whimper, And threw down his bag and fled, And the Ladies' Science Circle, With a simultaneous rush, Travelled after its Professor, And went screaming through the bush! At the crossing of Lost River, On the road to No Man's Land, Where the grim and ghostly gumtrees Block the view on every hand, There they weep and wail and wander, Always seeking for the track, For the hapless old Professor Hasn't sense to guide 'em back; And they clutch at one another, And they yell and scream in fright As they see the gruesome creatures Of the grim Australian night; And they hear the mopoke's hooting, And the dingo's howl so dread, And the flying foxes jabber From the gum trees overhead; While the weird and wary wombats, In their subterranean caves, Are a-digging, always digging, At those wretched people's graves; And the pike-horned Queensland bullock, From his shelter in the scrub, Has his eye on the proceedings Of the Ladies' Science Club.
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

Now Listen to Me and Ill Tell You My Views

 Now listen to me and I'll tell you my views concerning the African war, 
And the man who upholds any different views, the same is a ritten Pro-Boer! 
(Though I'm getting a little bit doubtful myself, as it drags on week after week: 
But it's better not ask any questions at all -- let us silence all doubts with a shriek!) 
And first let us shriek the unstinted abuse that the Tory Press prefer -- 
De Wet is a madman, and Steyn is a liar, and Kruger a pitiful cur! 
(Though I think if Oom Paul -- as old as he is -- were to walk down the Strand with his gun, 
A lot of these heroes would hide in the sewers or take to their heels and run! 
For Paul he has fought like a man in his day, but now that he's feeble and weak 
And tired, and lonely, and old and grey, of course it's quite safe to shriek!) 

And next let us join in the bloodthirsty shriek, Hooray for Lord Kitchener's "bag"! 
For the fireman's torch and the hangman's cord -- they are hung on the English Flag! 
In the front of our brave old army! Whoop! the farmhouse blazes bright.
And the women weep and their children die -- how dare they presume to fight! For none of them dress in a uniform, the same as by rights they ought.
They're fighting in rags and in naked feet, like Wallace's Scotchmen fought! (And they clothe themselves from our captured troops -- and they're catching them every week; And they don't hand them -- and the shame is ours, but we cover the shame with a shriek!) And, lastly, we'll shriek the political shriek as we sit in the dark and doubt; Where the Birmingham Judas led us in, and there's no one to lead us out.
And Rosebery -- whom we depended upon! Would only the Oracle speak! "You go to the Grocers," says he, "for your laws!" By Heavens! it's time to shriek!
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

Moving On

 In this war we're always moving, 
Moving on; 
When we make a friend another friend has gone; 
Should a woman's kindly face 
Make us welcome for a space, 
Then it's boot and saddle, boys, we're 
Moving on.
In the hospitals they're moving, Moving on; They're here today, tomorrow they are gone; When the bravest and the best Of the boys you know "go west", Then you're choking down your tears and Moving on.
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

The Protest

 I say 'e isn't Remorse! 
'Ow do I know? 
Saw 'im on Riccarton course 
Two year ago! 
Think I'd forget any 'orse? 
Course 'e's The Crow! 
Bumper Maginnis and I 
After a "go", 
Walkin' our 'orses to dry, 
I says "Hello! 
What's that old black goin' by?" 
Bumper says "Oh! 
That's an old cuddy of Flanagan's -- 
Runs as The Crow!" 

Now they make out 'e's Remorse.
Well, but I know.
Soon as I came on the course I says "'Ello! 'Ere's the old Crow.
" Once a man's seen any 'orse, Course 'e must know.
Sure as there's wood in this table, I say 'e's The Crow.
(Cross-examied by the Committee.
) 'Ow do I know the moke After one sight? S'posin' you meet a bloke Down town at night, Wouldn't you know 'im again when you meet 'im? That's 'im all right! What was the brand on 'is 'ide? I couldn't say, Brands can be transmogrified.
That ain't the way -- It's the look of a 'orse and the way that 'e moves That I'd know any day.
What was the boy on 'is back? Why, 'e went past All of a minute, and off down the track.
-- "The 'orse went as fast?" True, so 'e did! But my eyes, what a treat! 'Ow can I notice the 'ands and the seat Of each bumble-faced kid of a boy that I meet? Lor'! What a question to ast! (Protest Dismissed)
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

The Wreck of the Golfer

 It was the Bondi golfing man 
Drove off from the golf house tee, 
And he had taken his little daughter 
To bear him company.
"Oh, Father, why do you swing the club And flourish it such a lot?" "You watch it fly o'er the fences high!" And he tried with a brassey shot.
"Oh, Father, why did you hit the fence Just there where the brambles twine?" And the father he answered never a word, But he got on the green in nine.
"Oh, Father, hark from behind those trees, What dismal yells arrive!" "'Tis a man I ween on the second green, And I've landed him with my drive.
" "Oh, Father, why does the poor Chinee Fall down on his knees and cry?" "He taketh me for his Excellency, And he thinks once hit twice shy.
" So on they fared to the waterhole, And he drove with a lot of dash, But his balls full soon in the dread lagoon Fell down with a woeful splash.
"Oh, Father, why do you beat the sand Till it flies like the carded wool?" And the father he answered never a word, For his heart was much too full.
"Oh, Father, why are they shouting 'fore' And screaming so lustily?" But the father he answered never a word, A pallid corpse was he.
For a well-swung drive on the back of his head Had landed and laid him low.
Lord save us all from a fate like this When next to the links we go.
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

A Dream of the Melbourne Cup

 Bring me a quart of colonial beer 
And some doughy damper to make good cheer, 
I must make a heavy dinner; 
Heavily dine and heavily sup, 
Of indigestible things fill up, 
Next month they run the Melbourne Cup, 
And I have to dream the winner.
Stoke it in, boys! the half-cooked ham, The rich ragout and the charming cham.
, I've got to mix my liquor; Give me a gander's gaunt hind leg, Hard and tough as a wooden peg, And I'll keep it down with a hard-boiled egg, 'Twill make me dream the quicker.
Now that I'm full of fearful feed, Oh, but I'll dream of a winner indeed In my restless, troubled slumber; While the night-mares race through my heated brain And their devil-riders spur amain, The trip for the Cup will reward my pain, And I'll spot the winning number.
Thousands and thousands and thousands more, Like sands on the white Pacific shore, The crowding people cluster; For evermore is the story old, While races are bought and backers are sold, Drawn by the greed of the gain of gold, In their thousands still they muster.
* * * * * And the bookies' cries grow fierce and hot, "I'll lay the Cup! The double, if not!" "Five monkeys, Little John, sir!" "Here's fives bar one, I lay, I lay!" And so they shout through the livelong day, And stick to the game that is sure to pay, While fools put money on, sir! And now in my dream I seem to go And bet with a "book" that I seem to know -- A Hebrew money-lender; A million to five is the price I get -- Not bad! but before I book the bet The horse's name I clean forgret, Its number and even gender.
Now for the start, and here they come, And the hoof-strokes roar like a mighty drum Beat by a hand unsteady; They come like a rushing, roaring flood, Hurrah for the speed of the Chester blood; For Acme is making the pace so good They are some of 'em done already.
But round the track she begins to tire, And a mighty shout goes up "Crossfire!" The magpie jacket's leading; And Crossfire challenges fierce and bold, And the lead she'll have and the lead she'll hold, But at length gives way to the black and gold, Which right to the front is speeding.
Carry them on and keep it up -- A flying race is the Melbourne Cup, You must race and stay to win it; And old Commotion, Victoria's pride, Now takes the lead with his raking stride, And a mighty roar goes far and wide -- "There's only Commotion in it!" But one draws out from the beaten ruck And up on the rails by a piece of luck He comes in a style that's clever; "It's Trident! Trident! Hurrah for Hales!" "Go at 'em now while their courage fails;" "Trident! Trident! for New South Wales!" "The blue and white for ever!" Under the whip! with the ears flat back, Under the whip! though the sinews crack, No sign of the base white feather: Stick to it now for your breeding's sake, Stick to it now though your hearts should break, While the yells and roars make the grand-stand shake, They come down the straignt together.
Trident slowly forges ahead, The fierce whips cut and the spurs are red, The pace is undiminished Now for the Panics that never fail! But many a backer's face grows pale As old Commotion swings his tail And swerves -- and the Cup is finished.
* * * * * And now in my dream it all comes back: I bet my coin on the Sydney crack, A million I've won, no question! "Give me my money, you hook-nosed hog! Give me my money, bookmaking dog!" But he disappeared in a kind of fog, And I woke with "the indigestion".