Pat Magee by Harry "Breaker" Morant

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   Dying! in the sheltering shade
   That the myall branches made,
While the horse-bells clanged and tinkled, far away across the plain;
   The white stars above were blinking,
   As old Pat Magee lay thinking
Of the faces and the places he would never see again.

   That long trip -- his life -- is over,
   And the grizzled, gaunt old drover
Gives "delivery;" hands his way-bill to his Owner, up above.
   Whether, now, a heaven or hell come,
   Pat will find old mates to welcome --
Saints a few and sinners many 'mong the ones he used to love.

   Lived his years -- some five-and-fifty --
   Neither over-wise nor thrifty;
Many times he "went a bender" from the sober way and straight;
   Yet men found in days of trouble
   Paddy's friendship was no bubble,
And he never wronged a woman nor went back upon a mate.

   And the Boss of all bosses
   May be lenient to the "losses" --
On the tracks that Paddy's travelled there were bound to be a few.
   Maybe He who pays the wages
   Knows how weary were some "stages,"
And there'll be a big "percentage," p'raphs, allowed on coming through.

   So we dug upon the 'Bidgee,
   Fenced it round with stakes of gidgee,
Paddy's grave! for burial-service Jack just whispered, "Rest his soul!"
   Then next morning, heavy-hearted,
   Got the nags up and departed,
Did what Pat himself had ne'er done -- left a comrade on a hole.

First published in The Bulletin, 9 September 1893, and again in the same magazine on 5 April 1902;
and later in
Bushman and Buccaneer: Harry Morant: His 'Ventures and Verses edited by Frank Renar, 1902; and
The Poetry of 'Breaker' Morant: from the Bulletin 1891-1903 with original illustrations by Harry Morant, 1980.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 9, 2011 7:21 AM.

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