Song of the Squatters by Robert Lowe

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The Commissioner bet me a pony -- I won,
So he cut off exactly two thirds of my run,
For he said I was making a fortune too fast,  
And profit gained slower, the longer would last.                

The Border Police -- they were out all the day,  
To look for some thieves, who had ransacked my dray;
But the thieves they continuied in quiet and peace,
For they robbed it themselves, did the Border Police!

When the white thieves had left me, the black thieves appeared,  
My shepherds they waddied, my cattle they speared;
But from fear of my license, I said not a word,
For I knew it was gone, if the Government heard.        

The Commissioner's bosom with anger was filled
Against me, because my poor shepherd was killed;
So he straight took away the last third of my run,
And got it transferred to the name of his son.

The cattle that had not been sold at the pound,
He took with the run, at five shillings all round;  
And the sheep the blacks left me at sixpence a head;
A very good price the Commissioner said.

The Governor told me I justly was served,
That Commissioners never from duty had swerved;
But that if I'd a fancy for any more land,
For ten pounds an acre he'd plenty in hand!

I'm not very proud! I can dig in a bog,
Feed pigs, or for firewood can split up a log,
Clean shoes, riddle cinders, or help to boil down --
Anything that you please, but graze lands of the Crown!

First published in The Atlas, 22 February 1845;
and later in
Port Phillip Patriot and Melbourne Advertiser, 5 March 1845;
Geelong Advertiser, 5 March 1845;
Port Phillip Herald, 6 March 1845;
Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser, 15 March 1845;
Northern Territory Times, 15 January 1932;
Freedom on the Wallaby: Poems of the Australian People edited by Majorie Pizer, 1953;
From the Ballads to Brennan edited by T. Inglis Moore, 1964;
The Penguin Australian Song Book edited by J.S. Manifold, 1964;
Poetry Australia, April 1970;
Old Bush Songs and Rhymes of Colonial Times edited by Douglas Stewart and Nancy Keesing, 1976;
The Penguin Book of Australian Satirical Verse edited by Philip Neilsen, 1986;
The New Oxford Book of Australian Verse edited by Les Murray, 1986;
Old Ballads from the Bush edited by Bill Scott, 1987;
Australian Verse: An Oxford Anthology edited by John Leonard, 1998;
Our Country: Classic Australian Poetry: From the Colonial Ballads to Paterson & Lawson edited by Michael Cook, 2004; and
The Puncher & Wattmann Anthology of Australian Poetry edited by John Leonard, 2009.

Author reference site: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 22, 2012 6:43 AM.

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