An Easter Hymn by Will H. Ogilvie

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The long-neck spurs are idle, and the shoes are off the brown;
The saddle-backs are spelling at the back of Boona Range;
The engine's fired and waiting, and it's hey for Sydney Town!
The sheep can go to blazes, for the shepherds want a change.
A twelve-month we've been toiling, as the best of sheep-men must,
Playing games of woolly billiards, with a pine-stick for a cue,
And wearing down the rollers of our long-necks in the dust,
And saying little prayers to the gentle full-mouth ewe!

Now --- the roaring of the traffic and the flashing of the lights!
Now --- the ships upon the harbor and the crowds upon the quay!
Now --- the revel of the mornings and the riot of the nights!
The long-worn fetters broken and --- the freedom of the free!
The crowds are keeping Easter and the shrines are overflowed:
We shall trouble not the churches or the chapels, comrades mine,
There are other altars hold us on the broad and flowery road,
And the gods we go to worship are the Gods of Love and Wine!

In a fortnight you'll be weary of the streets that slack and fill,
Of the nights of restless revel and the noons of languid ease,
And you'll wish that you were riding at the back of Boona Hill,
With the miljee at your stirrups and the gooma at your knees.
You can ride the bucking harbor when the tide rips thro' the Heads,
You can mount the moving tram-cars in a smoke too thick to see,
You can mash the merry barmaids, you can "do" the show-yard sheds --
A gallop down the Yarran flats is good enough for me.

First published in The Bulletin, 30 April 1898

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 30, 2012 9:35 AM.

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