"When the Drover Gets to Town" by Mabel Forrest

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If you're dodging after sheep on the heavy black soil plain,
While the low home range behind you is all misty with the rain,
When your swag is rolled up sopping and the sky seems tumbling down,
And it cheers your heart to ponder on the day you'll get to town.
When the water trickles slowly from your felt hat to your nose,
Or when westerlies are blowing or the shallow creeks are "froze,"
And the frost is there to follow on the drizzling winter rains,
With the curses of lumbago and a sheaf of aches and pains.
When you shiver from your bluchers to your cabbage-straw's worn crown,
You're apt to think with envy of the blokes that work in town.

When you're watching restless cattle on the camp and there's a rush,
And the beasts are racing from you all among the tangled bush,
Or when you're had weeks of damper and salt junk -- very salt,
When you've only had weak tea to drink and nothing made with malt;
Though your pipe's a lot of comfort, still it often would appear
That tobacco can create a thirst that's only quenched by beer.
For the nights are long and lonely when the stock are on the job,
And the squatters beat the drovers down and haggle for a bob.
But -- somewhere eyes are bright and blue, and hair is golden brown,
And the ripe red lips are smiling when the drover gets to town!

First published in The Queenslander, 25 September 1897

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 25, 2011 8:22 AM.

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