Best Famous Kangaroo Poems

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Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

The Ballad Of The Ice-Worm Cocktail

 To Dawson Town came Percy Brown from London on the Thames.
A pane of glass was in his eye, and stockings on his stems.
Upon the shoulder of his coat a leather pad he wore, To rest his deadly rifle when it wasn't seeking gore; The which it must have often been, for Major Percy Brown, According to his story was a hunter of renown, Who in the Murrumbidgee wilds had stalked the kangaroo And killed the cassowary on the plains of Timbuctoo.
And now the Arctic fox he meant to follow to its lair, And it was also his intent to beard the Artic hare.
Which facts concerning Major Brown I merely tell because I fain would have you know him for the Nimrod that he was.
Now Skipper Grey and Deacon White were sitting in the shack, And sampling of the whisky that pertained to Sheriff Black.
Said Skipper Grey: "I want to say a word about this Brown: The piker's sticking out his chest as if he owned the town.
" Said Sheriff Black: "he has no lack of frigorated cheek; He called himself a Sourdough when he'd just been here a week.
" Said Deacon White: "Methinks you're right, and so I have a plan By which I hope to prove to-night the mettle of the man.
Just meet me where the hooch-bird sings, and though our ways be rude We'll make a proper Sourdough of this Piccadilly dude.
" Within the Malamute Saloon were gathered all the gang; The fun was fast and furious, and the loud hooch-bird sang.
In fact the night's hilarity had almost reached its crown, When into its storm-centre breezed the gallant Major Brown.
And at the apparation, whith its glass eye and plus-fours, From fifty alcoholic throats responded fifty roars.
With shouts of stark amazement and with whoops of sheer delight, They surged around the stranger, but the first was Deacon White.
"We welcome you," he cried aloud, "to this the Great White Land.
The Artic Brotherhood is proud to grip you by the hand.
Yea, sportsman of the bull-dog breed, from trails of far away, To Yukoners this is indeed a memorable day.
Our jubilation to express, vocabularies fail.
Boys, hail the Great Cheechako!" And the boys responded: "Hail!" "And now," continued Deacon White to blushing Major Brown, "Behold assembled the eelight and cream of Dawson Town, And one ambition fills their hearts and makes their bosoms glow - They want to make you, honoured sir, a bony feed Sourdough.
The same, some say, is one who's seen the Yukon ice go out, But most profound authorities the definition doubt, And to the genial notion of this meeting, Major Brown, A Sourdough is a guy who drinks .
an ice-worm cocktail down.
" "By Gad!" responded Major Brown, "that's ripping, don't you know.
I've always felt I'd like to be a certified Sourdough.
And though I haven't any doubt your Winter's awf'ly nice, Mayfair, I fear, may miss me ere the break-up of your ice.
Yet (pray excuse my ignorance of matters such as these) A cocktail I can understand - but what's an ice-worm, please?" Said Deacon White: "It is not strange that you should fail to know, Since ice-worms are peculiar to the Mountain of Blue Snow.
Within the Polar rim it rears, a solitary peak, And in the smoke of early Spring (a spectacle unique) Like flame it leaps upon the sight and thrills you through and through, For though its cone is piercing white, its base is blazing blue.
Yet all is clear as you draw near - for coyley peering out Are hosts and hosts of tiny worms, each indigo of snout.
And as no nourishment they find, to keep themselves alive They masticate each other's tails, till just the Tough survive.
Yet on this stern and Spartan fare so-rapidly they grow, That some attain six inches by the melting of the snow.
Then when the tundra glows to green and nigger heads appear, They burrow down and are not seen until another year.
" "A toughish yarn," laughed Major Brown, "as well you may admit.
I'd like to see this little beast before I swallow it.
" "'Tis easy done," said Deacon White, "Ho! Barman, haste and bring Us forth some pickled ice-worms of the vintage of last Spring.
" But sadly still was Barman Bill, then sighed as one bereft: "There's been a run on cocktails, Boss; there ain't an ice-worm left.
Yet wait .
By gosh! it seems to me that some of extra size Were picked and put away to show the scientific guys.
" Then deeply in a drawer he sought, and there he found a jar, The which with due and proper pride he put upon the bar; And in it, wreathed in queasy rings, or rolled into a ball, A score of grey and greasy things, were drowned in alcohol.
Their bellies were a bilious blue, their eyes a bulbous red; Their back were grey, and gross were they, and hideous of head.
And when with gusto and a fork the barman speared one out, It must have gone four inches from its tail-tip to its snout.
Cried Deacon White with deep delight: "Say, isn't that a beaut?" "I think it is," sniffed Major Brown, "a most disgustin' brute.
Its very sight gives me the pip.
I'll bet my bally hat, You're only spoofin' me, old chap.
You'll never swallow that.
" "The hell I won't!" said Deacon White.
"Hey! Bill, that fellows fine.
Fix up four ice-worm cocktails, and just put that wop in mine.
" So Barman Bill got busy, and with sacerdotal air His art's supreme achievement he proceeded to prepare.
His silver cups, like sickle moon, went waving to and fro, And four celestial cocktails soon were shining in a row.
And in the starry depths of each, artistically piled, A fat and juicy ice-worm raised its mottled mug and smiled.
Then closer pressed the peering crown, suspended was the fun, As Skipper Grey in courteous way said: "Stranger, please take one.
" But with a gesture of disgust the Major shook his head.
"You can't bluff me.
You'll never drink that gastly thing," he said.
"You'll see all right," said Deacon White, and held his cocktail high, Till its ice-worm seemed to wiggle, and to wink a wicked eye.
Then Skipper Grey and Sheriff Black each lifted up a glass, While through the tense and quiet crown a tremor seemed to pass.
"Drink, Stranger, drink," boomed Deacon White.
"proclaim you're of the best, A doughty Sourdough who has passed the Ice-worm Cocktail Test.
" And at these words, with all eyes fixed on gaping Major Brown, Like a libation to the gods, each dashed his cocktail down.
The Major gasped with horror as the trio smacked their lips.
He twiddled at his eye-glass with unsteady finger-tips.
Into his starry cocktail with a look of woe he peered, And its ice-worm, to his thinking, mosy incontinently leered.
Yet on him were a hundred eyes, though no one spoke aloud, For hushed with expectation was the waiting, watching crowd.
The Major's fumbling hand went forth - the gang prepared to cheer; The Major's falt'ring hand went back, the mob prepared to jeer, The Major gripped his gleaming glass and laid it to his lips, And as despairfully he took some nauseated sips, From out its coil of crapulence the ice-worm raised its head, Its muzzle was a murky blue, its eyes a ruby red.
And then a roughneck bellowed fourth: "This stiff comes here and struts, As if he bought the blasted North - jest let him show his guts.
" And with a roar the mob proclaimed: "Cheechako, Major Brown, Reveal that you're of Sourdough stuff, and drink your cocktail down.
" The Major took another look, then quickly closed his eyes, For even as he raised his glass he felt his gorge arise.
Aye, even though his sight was sealed, in fancy he could see That grey and greasy thing that reared and sneered in mockery.
Yet round him ringed the callous crowd - and how they seemed to gloat! It must be done .
He swallowed hard .
The brute was at his throat.
He choked.
he gulped .
Thank God! at last he'd got the horror down.
Then from the crowd went up a roar: "Hooray for Sourdough Brown!" With shouts they raised him shoulder high, and gave a rousing cheer, But though they praised him to the sky the Major did not hear.
Amid their demonstrative glee delight he seemed to lack; Indeed it almost seemed that he - was "keeping something back.
" A clammy sweat was on his brow, and pallid as a sheet: "I feel I must be going now," he'd plaintively repeat.
Aye, though with drinks and smokes galore, they tempted him to stay, With sudden bolt he gained the door, and made his get-away.
And ere next night his story was the talk of Dawson Town, But gone and reft of glory was the wrathful Major Brown; For that ice-worm (so they told him) of such formidable size Was - a stick of stained spaghetti with two red ink spots for eyes.
Written by Lewis Carroll | Create an image from this poem

A Strange Wild Song

 He thought he saw an Elephant
That practised on a fife:
He looked again, and found it was
A letter from his wife.
"At length I realize," he said, "The bitterness of life!" He thought he saw a Buffalo Upon the chimney-piece: He looked again, and found it was His Sister's Husband's Niece.
"Unless you leave this house," he said, "I'll send for the police!" he thought he saw a Rattlesnake That questioned him in Greek: He looked again, and found it was The Middle of Next Week.
"The one thing I regret," he said, "Is that it cannot speak!" He thought he saw a Banker's Clerk Descending from the bus: He looked again, and found it was A Hippopotamus.
"If this should stay to dine," he said, "There won't be much for us!" He thought he saw a Kangaroo That worked a Coffee-mill: He looked again, and found it was A Vegetable-Pill.
"Were I to swallow this," he said, "I should be very ill!" He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four That stood beside his bed: He looked again, and found it was A Bear without a Head.
"Poor thing," he said, "poor silly thing! It's waiting to be fed!"
Written by A R Ammons | Create an image from this poem

Shit List; Or Omnium-gatherum Of Diversity Into Unity

 You'll rejoice at how many kinds of shit there are:
gosling shit (which J.
Williams said something was as green as), fish shit (the generality), trout shit, rainbow trout shit (for the nice), mullet shit, sand dab shit, casual sloth shit, elephant shit (awesome as process or payload), wildebeest shit, horse shit (a favorite), caterpillar shit (so many dark kinds, neatly pelleted as mint seed), baby rhinoceros shit, splashy jaybird shit, mockingbird shit (dive-bombed with the aim of song), robin shit that oozes white down lawnchairs or down roots under roosts, chicken shit and chicken mite shit, pelican shit, gannet shit (wholesome guano), fly shit (periodic), cockatoo shit, dog shit (past catalog or assimilation), cricket shit, elk (high plains) shit, and tiny scribbled little shrew shit, whale shit (what a sight, deep assumption), mandril shit (blazing blast off), weasel shit (wiles' waste), gazelle shit, magpie shit (total protein), tiger shit (too acid to contemplate), moral eel and manta ray shit, eerie shark shit, earthworm shit (a soilure), crab shit, wolf shit upon the germicidal ice, snake shit, giraffe shit that accelerates, secretary bird shit, turtle shit suspension invites, remora shit slightly in advance of the shark shit, hornet shit (difficult to assess), camel shit that slaps the ghastly dry siliceous, frog shit, beetle shit, bat shit (the marmoreal), contemptible cat shit, penguin shit, hermit crab shit, prairie hen shit, cougar shit, eagle shit (high totem stuff), buffalo shit (hardly less lofty), otter shit, beaver shit (from the animal of alluvial dreams)—a vast ordure is a broken down cloaca—macaw shit, alligator shit (that floats the Nile along), louse shit, macaque, koala, and coati shit, antelope shit, chuck-will's-widow shit, alpaca shit (very high stuff), gooney bird shit, chigger shit, bull shit (the classic), caribou shit, rasbora, python, and razorbill shit, scorpion shit, man shit, laswing fly larva shit, chipmunk shit, other-worldly wallaby shit, gopher shit (or broke), platypus shit, aardvark shit, spider shit, kangaroo and peccary shit, guanaco shit, dolphin shit, aphid shit, baboon shit (that leopards induce), albatross shit, red-headed woodpecker (nine inches long) shit, tern shit, hedgehog shit, panda shit, seahorse shit, and the shit of the wasteful gallinule.
Written by Lewis Carroll | Create an image from this poem

The Mad Gardeners Song

 He thought he saw an Elephant,
That practised on a fife:
He looked again, and found it was
A letter from his wife.
'At length I realise,' he said, The bitterness of Life!' He thought he saw a Buffalo Upon the chimney-piece: He looked again, and found it was His Sister's Husband's Niece.
'Unless you leave this house,' he said, "I'll send for the Police!' He thought he saw a Rattlesnake That questioned him in Greek: He looked again, and found it was The Middle of Next Week.
'The one thing I regret,' he said, 'Is that it cannot speak!' He thought he saw a Banker's Clerk Descending from the bus: He looked again, and found it was A Hippopotamus.
'If this should stay to dine,' he said, 'There won't be much for us!' He thought he saw a Kangaroo That worked a coffee-mill: He looked again, and found it was A Vegetable-Pill.
'Were I to swallow this,' he said, 'I should be very ill!' He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four That stood beside his bed: He looked again, and found it was A Bear without a Head.
'Poor thing,' he said, 'poor silly thing! It's waiting to be fed!' He thought he saw an Albatross That fluttered round the lamp: He looked again, and found it was A Penny-Postage Stamp.
'You'd best be getting home,' he said: 'The nights are very damp!' He thought he saw a Garden-Door That opened with a key: He looked again, and found it was A Double Rule of Three: 'And all its mystery,' he said, 'Is clear as day to me!' He thought he saw a Argument That proved he was the Pope: He looked again, and found it was A Bar of Mottled Soap.
'A fact so dread,' he faintly said, 'Extinguishes all hope!'
Written by Oodgeroo Noonuccal | Create an image from this poem

We Are Going

 They came in to the little town 
A semi-naked band subdued and silent 
All that remained of their tribe.
They came here to the place of their old bora ground Where now the many white men hurry about like ants.
Notice of the estate agent reads: 'Rubbish May Be Tipped Here'.
Now it half covers the traces of the old bora ring.
'We are as strangers here now, but the white tribe are the strangers.
We belong here, we are of the old ways.
We are the corroboree and the bora ground, We are the old ceremonies, the laws of the elders.
We are the wonder tales of Dream Time, the tribal legends told.
We are the past, the hunts and the laughing games, the wandering camp fires.
We are the lightening bolt over Gaphembah Hill Quick and terrible, And the Thunderer after him, that loud fellow.
We are the quiet daybreak paling the dark lagoon.
We are the shadow-ghosts creeping back as the camp fires burn low.
We are nature and the past, all the old ways Gone now and scattered.
The scrubs are gone, the hunting and the laughter.
The eagle is gone, the emu and the kangaroo are gone from this place.
The bora ring is gone.
The corroboree is gone.
And we are going.
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

The Man from Goondiwindi Q


This is the sunburnt bushman who 
Came down from Goondiwindi, Q.
II This is the Push from Waterloo That spotted the sunburnt bushman who Came down from Goondiwindi, Q.
III These are the wealthy uncles -- two, Part of the Push from Waterloo That spotted the sunburnt bushman who Came down from Goondiwindi, Q.
IV This is the game, by no means new, Played by the wealthy uncles -- two, Part of the Push from Waterloo That spotted the sunburnt bushman who Came down from Goondiwindi, Q.
V This is the trooper dressed in blue, Who busted the game by no means new, Played by the wealthy uncles -- two, Part of the Push from Waterloo That spotted the sunburnt bushman who Came down from Goondiwindi, Q.
VI This is the magistrate who knew Not only the trooper dressed in blue, But also the game by no means new, And likewise the wealthy uncles -- two, And ditto the Push from Waterloo That spotted the sunburnt bushman who Came down from Goondiwindi, Q.
VII This is the tale that has oft gone through On western plains where the skies are blue, Till the native bear and the kangaroo Have heard of the magistrate who knew Not only the trooper dressed in blue, But also the game by no means new, And likewise the wealthy uncles -- two, And ditto the Push from Waterloo That spotted the sunburnt bushman who Came down from Goondiwindi, Q.
The Evening News, 17 Dec 1904 (This verse was published, copiously illustrated by Lionel Lindsay.
Each stanza had its own illustration.
) The pronounciation of many Australian place-names can be quite unexpected.
Goondiwindi is a case in point.
The town is situated on the border of Queensland and New south Wales, on the banks of the Macintyre River, and its name is pronounced "gun-da-windy", with the main stress on the third syllable, a secondary stress on the first.
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

Father Rileys Horse

 'Twas the horse thief, Andy Regan, that was hunted like a dog 
By the troopers of the upper Murray side, 
They had searched in every gully -- they had looked in every log, 
But never sight or track of him they spied, 
Till the priest at Kiley's Crossing heard a knocking very late 
And a whisper "Father Riley -- come across!" 
So his Rev'rence in pyjamas trotted softly to the gate 
And admitted Andy Regan -- and a horse! 
"Now, it's listen, Father Riley, to the words I've got to say, 
For it's close upon my death I am tonight.
With the troopers hard behind me I've been hiding all the day In the gullies keeping close and out of sight.
But they're watching all the ranges till there's not a bird could fly, And I'm fairly worn to pieces with the strife, So I'm taking no more trouble, but I'm going home to die, 'Tis the only way I see to save my life.
"Yes, I'm making home to mother's, and I'll die o' Tuesday next An' be buried on the Thursday -- and, of course, I'm prepared to meet my penance, but with one thing I'm perplexed And it's -- Father, it's this jewel of a horse! He was never bought nor paid for, and there's not a man can swear To his owner or his breeder, but I know, That his sire was by Pedantic from the Old Pretender mare And his dam was close related to The Roe.
"And there's nothing in the district that can race him for a step, He could canter while they're going at their top: He's the king of all the leppers that was ever seen to lep, A five-foot fence -- he'd clear it in a hop! So I'll leave him with you, Father, till the dead shall rise again, Tis yourself that knows a good 'un; and, of course, You can say he's got by Moonlight out of Paddy Murphy's plain If you're ever asked the breeding of the horse! "But it's getting on to daylight and it's time to say goodbye, For the stars above the east are growing pale.
And I'm making home to mother -- and it's hard for me to die! But it's harder still, is keeping out of gaol! You can ride the old horse over to my grave across the dip Where the wattle bloom is waving overhead.
Sure he'll jump them fences easy -- you must never raise the whip Or he'll rush 'em! -- now, goodbye!" and he had fled! So they buried Andy Regan, and they buried him to rights, In the graveyard at the back of Kiley's Hill; There were five-and-twenty mourners who had five-and-twenty fights Till the very boldest fighters had their fill.
There were fifty horses racing from the graveyard to the pub, And their riders flogged each other all the while.
And the lashin's of the liquor! And the lavin's of the grub! Oh, poor Andy went to rest in proper style.
Then the races came to Kiley's -- with a steeplechase and all, For the folk were mostly Irish round about, And it takes an Irish rider to be fearless of a fall, They were training morning in and morning out.
But they never started training till the sun was on the course For a superstitious story kept 'em back, That the ghost of Andy Regan on a slashing chestnut horse, Had been training by the starlight on the track.
And they read the nominations for the races with surprise And amusement at the Father's little joke, For a novice had been entered for the steeplechasing prize, And they found it was Father Riley's moke! He was neat enough to gallop, he was strong enough to stay! But his owner's views of training were immense, For the Reverend Father Riley used to ride him every day, And he never saw a hurdle nor a fence.
And the priest would join the laughter: "Oh," said he, "I put him in, For there's five-and-twenty sovereigns to be won.
And the poor would find it useful, if the chestnut chanced to win, And he'll maybe win when all is said and done!" He had called him Faugh-a-ballagh, which is French for 'Clear the course', And his colours were a vivid shade of green: All the Dooleys and O'Donnells were on Father Riley's horse, While the Orangemen were backing Mandarin! It was Hogan, the dog poisoner -- aged man and very wise, Who was camping in the racecourse with his swag, And who ventured the opinion, to the township's great surprise, That the race would go to Father Riley's nag.
"You can talk about your riders -- and the horse has not been schooled, And the fences is terrific, and the rest! When the field is fairly going, then ye'll see ye've all been fooled, And the chestnut horse will battle with the best.
"For there's some has got condition, and they think the race is sure, And the chestnut horse will fall beneath the weight, But the hopes of all the helpless, and the prayers of all the poor, Will be running by his side to keep him straight.
And it's what's the need of schoolin' or of workin' on the track, Whin the saints are there to guide him round the course! I've prayed him over every fence -- I've prayed him out and back! And I'll bet my cash on Father Riley's horse!" * Oh, the steeple was a caution! They went tearin' round and round, And the fences rang and rattled where they struck.
There was some that cleared the water -- there was more fell in and drowned, Some blamed the men and others blamed the luck! But the whips were flying freely when the field came into view, For the finish down the long green stretch of course, And in front of all the flyers -- jumpin' like a kangaroo, Came the rank outsider -- Father Riley's horse! Oh, the shouting and the cheering as he rattled past the post! For he left the others standing, in the straight; And the rider -- well they reckoned it was Andy Regan's ghost, And it beat 'em how a ghost would draw the weight! But he weighed in, nine stone seven, then he laughed and disappeared, Like a banshee (which is Spanish for an elf), And old Hogan muttered sagely, "If it wasn't for the beard They'd be thinking it was Andy Regan's self!" And the poor of Kiley's Crossing drank the health at Christmastide Of the chestnut and his rider dressed in green.
There was never such a rider, not since Andy Regan died, And they wondered who on earth he could have been.
But they settled it among 'em, for the story got about, 'Mongst the bushmen and the people on the course, That the Devil had been ordered to let Andy Regan out For the steeplechase on Father Riley's horse!
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

Conroys Gap

 This was the way of it, don't you know -- 
Ryan was "wanted" for stealing sheep, 
And never a trooper, high or low, 
Could find him -- catch a weasel asleep! 
Till Trooper Scott, from the Stockman's Ford -- 
A bushman, too, as I've heard them tell -- 
Chanced to find him drunk as a lord 
Round at the Shadow of Death Hotel.
D'you know the place? It's a wayside inn, A low grog-shanty -- a bushman trap, Hiding away in its shame and sin Under the shelter of Conroy's Gap -- Under the shade of that frowning range The roughest crowd that ever drew breath -- Thieves and rowdies, uncouth and strange, Were mustered round at the "Shadow of Death".
The trooper knew that his man would slide Like a dingo pup, if he saw the chance; And with half a start on the mountain side Ryan would lead him a merry dance.
Drunk as he was when the trooper came, to him that did not matter a rap -- Drunk or sober, he was the same, The boldest rider in Conroy's Gap.
"I want you, Ryan," the trooper said, "And listen to me, if you dare resist, So help me heaven, I'll shoot you dead!" He snapped the steel on his prisoner's wrist, And Ryan, hearing the handcuffs click, Recovered his wits as they turned to go, For fright will sober a man as quick As all the drugs that the doctors know.
There was a girl in that shanty bar Went by the name of Kate Carew, Quiet and shy as the bush girls are, But ready-witted and plucky, too.
She loved this Ryan, or so they say, And passing by, while her eyes were dim With tears, she said in a careless way, "The Swagman's round in the stable, Jim.
" Spoken too low for the trooper's ear, Why should she care if he heard or not? Plenty of swagmen far and near -- And yet to Ryan it meant a lot.
That was the name of the grandest horse In all the district from east to west; In every show ring, on every course, They always counted The Swagman best.
He was a wonder, a raking bay -- One of the grand old Snowdon strain -- One of the sort that could race and stay With his mighty limbs and his length of rein.
Born and bred on the mountain side, He could race through scrub like a kangaroo; The girl herself on his back might ride, And The Swagman would carry her safely through.
He would travel gaily from daylight's flush Till after the stars hung out their lamps; There was never his like in the open bush, And never his match on the cattle-camps.
For faster horses might well be found On racing tracks, or a plain's extent, But few, if any, on broken ground Could see the way that The Swagman went.
When this girl's father, old Jim Carew, Was droving out on the Castlereagh With Conroy's cattle, a wire came through To say that his wife couldn't live the day.
And he was a hundred miles from home, As flies the crow, with never a track Through plains as pathless as ocean's foam; He mounted straight on The Swagman's back.
He left the camp by the sundown light, And the settlers out on the Marthaguy Awoke and heard, in the dead of night, A single horseman hurrying by.
He crossed the Bogan at Dandaloo, And many a mile of the silent plain That lonely rider behind him threw Before they settled to sleep again.
He rode all noght, and he steered his course By the shining stars with a bushman's skill, And every time that he pressed his horse The Swagman answered him gamely still.
He neared his home as the east was bright.
The doctor met him outside the town "Carew! How far did you come last night?" "A hundred miles since the sun went down.
" And his wife got round, and an oath he passed, So long as he or one of his breed Could raise a coin, though it took their last, The Swagman never should want a feed.
And Kate Carew, when her father died, She kept the horse and she kept him well; The pride of the district far and wide, He lived in style at the bush hotel.
Such wasThe Swagman; and Ryan knew Nothing about could pace the crack; Little he'd care for the man in blue If once he got on The Swagman's back.
But how to do it? A word let fall Gave him the hint as the girl passed by; Nothing but "Swagman -- stable wall; Go to the stable and mind your eye.
" He caught her meaning, and quickly turned To the trooper: "Reckon you'll gain a stripe By arresting me, and it's easily earned; Let's go to the stable and get my pipe, The Swagman has it.
" So off they went, And as soon as ever they turned their backs The girl slipped down, on some errand bent Behind the stable and seized an axe.
The trooper stood at the stable door While Ryan went in quite cool and slow, And then (the trick had been played before) The girl outside gave the wall a blow.
Three slabs fell out of the stable wall -- 'Twas done 'fore ever the trooper knew -- And Ryan, as soon as he saw them fall, Mounted The Swagman and rushed him through.
The trooper heard the hoof-beats ring In the stable yard, and he jammed the gate, But The Swagman rose with a mighty spring At the fence, and the trooper fired too late As they raced away, and his shots flew wide, And Ryan no longer need care a rap, For never a horse that was lapped in hide Could catch The Swagman in Conroy's Gap.
And that's the story.
You want to know If Ryan came back to his Kate Carew; Of course he should have, as stories go, But the worst of it is this story's true: And in real life it's a certain rule, Whatever poets and authors say Of high-toned robbers and all their school, These horsethief fellows aren't built that way.
Come back! Don't hope it -- the slinking hound, He sloped across to the Queensland side, And sold The Swagman for fifty pound, And stole the money, and more beside.
And took to drink, and by some good chance Was killed -- thrown out of a stolen trap.
And that was the end of this small romance, The end of the story of Conroy's Gap.
Written by Vachel Lindsay | Create an image from this poem

Popcorn Glass Balls and Cranberries

THE LION The Lion is a kingly beast.
He likes a Hindu for a feast.
And if no Hindu he can get, The lion-family is upset.
He cuffs his wife and bites her ears Till she is nearly moved to tears.
Then some explorer finds the den And all is family peace again.
AN EXPLANATION OF THE GRASSHOPPER The Grasshopper, the grasshopper, I will explain to you:— He is the Brownies' racehorse, The fairies' Kangaroo.
THE DANGEROUS LITTLE BOY FAIRIES In fairyland the little boys Would rather fight than eat their meals.
They like to chase a gauze-winged fly And catch and beat him till he squeals.
Sometimes they come to sleeping men Armed with the deadly red-rose thorn, And those that feel its fearful wound Repent the day that they were born.
THE MOUSE THAT GNAWED THE OAK-TREE DOWN The mouse that gnawed the oak-tree down Began his task in early life.
He kept so busy with his teeth He had no time to take a wife.
He gnawed and gnawed through sun and rain When the ambitious fit was on, Then rested in the sawdust till A month of idleness had gone.
He did not move about to hunt The coteries of mousie-men.
He was a snail-paced, stupid thing Until he cared to gnaw again.
The mouse that gnawed the oak-tree down, When that tough foe was at his feet — Found in the stump no angel-cake Nor buttered bread, nor cheese, nor meat — The forest-roof let in the sky.
"This light is worth the work," said he.
"I'll make this ancient swamp more light," And started on another tree.
PARVENU Where does Cinderella sleep? By far-off day-dream river.
A secret place her burning Prince Decks, while his heart-strings quiver.
Homesick for our cinder world, Her low-born shoulders shiver; She longs for sleep in cinders curled — We, for the day-dream river.
THE SPIDER AND THE GHOST OF THE FLY Once I loved a spider When I was born a fly, A velvet-footed spider With a gown of rainbow-dye.
She ate my wings and gloated.
She bound me with a hair.
She drove me to her parlor Above her winding stair.
To educate young spiders She took me all apart.
My ghost came back to haunt her.
I saw her eat my heart.
CRICKETS ON A STRIKE The foolish queen of fairyland From her milk-white throne in a lily-bell, Gave command to her cricket-band To play for her when the dew-drops fell.
But the cold dew spoiled their instruments And they play for the foolish queen no more.
Instead those sturdy malcontents Play sharps and flats in my kitchen floor.
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

A Change of Menu

 Now the new chum loaded his three-nought-three, 
It's a small-bore gun, but his hopes were big.
"I am fed to the teeth with old ewe," said he, "And I might be able to shoot a pig.
" And he trusted more to his nose than ear To give him warning when pigs were near.
Out of his lair in the lignum dark.
Where the wild duck nests and the bilbie digs, With a whoof and a snort and a kind of bark There rose the father of all the pigs: And a tiger would have walked wide of him As he stropped his tusks on a leaning limb.
Then the new chum's three-nought-three gave tongue Like a popgun fired in an opera bouffe: But a pig that was old when the world was young Is near as possible bullet-proof.
(The more you shoot him the less he dies, Unless you catch him between the eyes.
) So the new chum saw it was up to him To become extinct if he stopped to shoot; So he made a leap for a gidgee limb While the tusker narrowly missed his boot.
Then he found a fork, where he swayed in air As he gripped the boughs like a native bear.
The pig sat silent and gaunt and grim To wait and wait till his foe should fall: For night and day were the same to him, And home was any old place at all.
"I must wait," said he, "till this sportsman drops; I could use his boots for a pair of strops.
" The crows that watch from the distant blue Came down to see what it all might mean; An eaglehawk and a cockatoo Bestowed their patronage on the scene.
Till a far-off boundary rider said "I must have a look -- there is something dead.
" Now the new chum sits at his Christmas fare Of a dried-up chop from a tough old ewe.
Says he, "It's better than native bear And nearly as tender as kangaroo.
An emu's egg I can masticate, But pork," says he, "is the thing I hate.