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Best Famous Wallaby Poems

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

The Lost Legion

 1895

There's a Legion that never was listed,
 That carries no colours or crest,
But, split in a thousand detachments,
 Is breaking the road for the rest.
Our fathers they left us their blessing -- They taught us, and groomed us, and crammed; But we've shaken the Clubs and the Messes To go and find out and be damned (Dear boys!), To go and get shot and be damned.
So some of us chivvy the slaver, And some of us cherish the black, And some of us hunt on the Oil Coast, And some on the Wallaby track: And some of us drift to Sarawak, And some of us drift up The Fly, And some share our tucker with tigers, And some with the gentle Masai, (Dear boys!), Take tea with the giddy Masai.
We've painted The Islands vermilion, We've pearled on half-shares in the Bay, We've shouted on seven-ounce nuggets, We've starved on a Seedeeboy's pay; We've laughed at the world as we found it, -- Its women and cities and men -- From Sayyid Burgash in a tantrum To the smoke-reddened eyes of Loben, (Dear boys!), We've a little account with Loben.
The ends of the Farth were our portion, The ocean at large was our share.
There was never a skirmish to windward But the Leaderless Legion was there: Yes, somehow and somewhere and always We were first when the trouble began, From a lottery-row in Manila, To an I.
D.
B.
race on the Pan (Dear boys!), With the Mounted Police on the Pan.
We preach in advance of the Army, We skirmish ahead of the Church, With never a gunboat to help us When we're scuppered and left in the lurch.
But we know as the cartridges finish, And we're filed on our last little shelves, That the Legion that never was listed Will send us as good as ourselves (Good men!), Five hundred as good as ourselves! Then a health (we must drink it in whispers), To our wholly unauthorized horde -- To the line of our dusty foreloopers, The Gentlemen Rovers abroad -- Yes, a health to ourselves ere we scatter, For the steamer won't wait for the train, And the Legion that never was listed Goes back into quarters again! 'Regards! Goes back under canvas again.
Hurrah! The swag and the billy again.
Here's how! The trail and the packhorse again.
Salue! The trek and the laager again!
Written by Henry Lawson | Create an image from this poem

On the Wallaby

 Now the tent poles are rotting, the camp fires are dead, 
And the possums may gambol in trees overhead; 
I am humping my bluey far out on the land, 
And the prints of my bluchers sink deep in the sand: 
I am out on the wallaby humping my drum, 
And I came by the tracks where the sundowners come.
It is nor'-west and west o'er the ranges and far To the plains where the cattle and sheep stations are, With the sky for my roof and the grass for my bunk, And a calico bag for my damper and junk; And scarcely a comrade my memory reveals, Save the spiritless dingo in tow of my heels.
But I think of the honest old light of my home When the stars hang in clusters like lamps from the dome, And I think of the hearth where the dark shadows fall, When my camp fire is built on the widest of all; But I'm following Fate, for I know she knows best, I follow, she leads, and it's nor'-west by west.
When my tent is all torn and my blankets are damp, And the rising flood waters flow fast by the camp, When the cold water rises in jets from the floor, I lie in my bunk and I list to the roar, And I think how to-morrow my footsteps will lag When I tramp 'neath the weight of a rain-sodden swag.
Though the way of the swagman is mostly up-hill, There are joys to be found on the wallaby still.
When the day has gone by with its tramp or its toil, And your camp-fire you light, and your billy you boil, There is comfort and peace in the bowl of your clay Or the yarn of a mate who is tramping that way.
But beware of the town -- there is poison for years In the pleasure you find in the depths of long beers; For the bushman gets bushed in the streets of a town, Where he loses his friends when his cheque is knocked down; He is right till his pockets are empty, and then -- He can hump his old bluey up country again.
Written by Henry Lawson | Create an image from this poem

Freedom on the Wallaby

 Australia's a big country 
An' Freedom's humping bluey, 
An' Freedom's on the wallaby 
Oh! don't you hear 'er cooey? 
She's just begun to boomerang, 
She'll knock the tyrants silly, 
She's goin' to light another fire 
And boil another billy.
Our fathers toiled for bitter bread While loafers thrived beside 'em, But food to eat and clothes to wear, Their native land denied 'em.
An' so they left their native land In spite of their devotion, An' so they came, or if they stole, Were sent across the ocean.
Then Freedom couldn't stand the glare O' Royalty's regalia, She left the loafers where they were, An' came out to Australia.
But now across the mighty main The chains have come ter bind her – She little thought to see again The wrongs she left behind her.
Our parents toil'd to make a home – Hard grubbin 'twas an' clearin' – They wasn't crowded much with lords When they was pioneering.
But now that we have made the land A garden full of promise, Old Greed must crook 'is dirty hand And come ter take it from us.
So we must fly a rebel flag, As others did before us, And we must sing a rebel song And join in rebel chorus.
We'll make the tyrants feel the sting O' those that they would throttle; They needn't say the fault is ours If blood should stain the wattle!
Written by Henry Lawson | Create an image from this poem

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.