There's a damper in the ashes, tea and sugar in the bags, There's whips of feed and shelter on the sandridge for the nags, There's gidya wood about us and water close at hand, And just one bottle left yet of the good Glenlivet brand.
There are chops upon the embers, which same are close-up done, From as fine a four-tooth wether as there is on Crossbred's run; 'Twas a proverb on the Darling, the truth of which I hold: "That mutton's aye the sweetest which was never bought nor sold."
Out of fifty thousand wethers surely Crossbred shouldn't miss A sheep or so to travellers-faith, 'tis dainty mutton, this - Let's drink a nip to Crossbred; ah, you drain it with a grin, Then shove along the billy, mate, and, squatted, let's wade in.
The night's a trifle chilly, and the stars are very bright, A heavy dew is falling, but the fly is rigged aright; You may rest your bones till morning, then if you chance to wake, Give me a call about the time that daylight starts to break.
We may not camp to-morrow, for we've many a mile to go, Ere we turn our horses' heads round to make tracks for down below. There's many a water-course to cross, and many a black-soil plain, And many a mile of mulga ridge ere we get back again.
That time five moons shall wax and wane we'll finish up the work, Have the bullocks o'er the border and truck 'em down from Bourke, And when they're sold at Homebush, and the agents settle up, Sing hey! a spell in Sydney town and Melbourne for the "Cup".
First published in The Bulletin, 5 August 1893.