When Dad Drives Home from Town by Edward S. Sorenson

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When Dad goes into town he takes 
   The old selection dray,
And carefully attends the brakes, 
   While dawdling all the way;
But when he's interviewed the shops,
   And liquor'd at "The Crown" --
You bet there's no such thing as stops
   As Dad drives home from town.

A careful man he starts away,
   All watchfulness and joy;
"Now, mind your pinny, Sis," he'll say;
   "Don't soil your coat, me boy;"
"Take care there, Tom, you don't fall out;"
   And "Minnie, do sit down!"
But all who will may roll about
   When Dad drives home from town.

And roll we do, by gum, we do;
   And bump from side to side;
We yell and howl -- and so would you
   If fated thus to ride;
'Tis over logs and foul of stumps,
   And knocking saplings down,
For waddles ply and Spanker jumps
   When Dad drives home from town.

The kangaroos beat right and left,
The 'possums rush for trees,
As Dad stands up like one bereft,
With coat tails in the breeze;
While Spanker's shod hoofs clout and ring,
   And youngsters grasp and frown;
Dad's hurry's quite astonishing
   When driving home from town.

The tail-board was the first to go,
   And with it went the toys;
Then one by one the girls dropped low,
   And after them the boys;
While 'cross the creek he dashed, and then
  "Hold tight," he cried, "or drown!"
'Tis really interesting when
   The "Guv'nor" drives from town.

We're holding tight-to mother earth,
   A-sprawl in twos and throes,
While clocking cart wheels drown our mirth,
   Till swallowed in the trees.
Then, gathering spoil from log and rut, 
   With swags addressed "J. Brown," 
We "pad the hoof" to Bargo Hut,
   While Dad drives home from town.

A slush-lamp at the window burns,
   To guide the travellers back;
It dies and glows as Spanker turns
   The windings of the track;
And mother hastens towards the sound
   To throw the slipralls down --
She knows what whirls the wheels around
   When Dad comes home from town.

With empty cart, and minus hat,
   He draws the reins a-foam; 
In Indian file across the fiat
   The "kids" come toddling home -- 
With packages and bags a-back,
   With mother's boots and gown,
And other things that blaze the track
   When Dad drives home from town.

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 9 December 1903

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 December 9, 2012 8:21 AM.

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