Her True Lover: A Stock Rider's Song by Alice Ham

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We were mates, sir, Bob and I, and we loved each other true;
But I found we liked the same lassie, and what could I do?

Milly's hair was brown and curly, her eyes were like the sea,
If her face was burned like the berries, what was that to me?

She was pretty to see o' mornings a-helping on the farm,
Her voice as blithe as a skylark's, and her thoughts as free from harm;

Or out in the rosy evenings, stripping maize with the rest,
The hat pushed back from her merry face, and flowers on her breast!
Bob was a quiet chap, never merry and frank like me;
I saw that something was wrong, so silent and sad was he.

And one day he spoke out, all trembling, and very white,
"Why do you go to the farm, Jack, almost every night?"

"Why, to see old Pollard and Milly, and have a chat with them all,"
He groaned, "Don't say more about it--I can't stand it; that's all."

"But which does Milly like best?" I thought, but I could not see,
She was kind to us both and smiled as much for Bob as for me.

So things just took their course, as they always have to do,
When a day brought the end about--swift, and cruel, and true.

We were drafting near the road; the cattle were wild that day,
When Pollard and Milly came riding home by the market way.

They checked their horses then, by the bend at the willow tree,
And watched the drafting awhile; 'twas a lively sight to see.

Lord Loftus was mad with rage--the wildest bull in the place;
Bob was on foot, when he broke the rail, and gave him bellowing chase!
Then Milly shrieked aloud, "Oh! save him! Oh! Bob, my dear!"
That was enough. I dashed forward--"I'll save him, never fear!"

I sprang in the creature's path, I faced him, I can't tell how;
For then came a flash and a darkness. That's why I'm a cripple now.

So I potter about the run. Unhappy? No, Sir, no fear!
I'm a cheerful fellow, you see--and Milly has married her dear!    

First published in The Queenslander, 29 October 1892

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 29, 2012 7:53 AM.

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