The Test Outback by C.J. Dennis

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Old Larry of the Overland
   With a thousand head of stores,
Is camped tonight on the Mulga sand,
   And they're waiting on the scores.
New fangled things like motor cars
   Old Larry won't have yet;
But, set apart in the tucker cart,
The pride and joy of his stubborn heart --
   Is a battered wireless set.

The boy had fixed the wire that day
   To a tall tree by the creek;
And they hear a voice long leagues away
   From the old tin trumpet speak:
"Six two seven, England declares,"
   Then Larry cries enough.
"Bunks boys," says he, some sleep for me.
We start sun-up for the bottle tree
   On a long, dry stage and tough. 

The bells of hobbled horses ring,
   The stars wink overhead,
And stealthily -- a furtive thing --
   The boy creeps from his bed.
Ever so softly he tunes in
   While the sleeping drovers snore,
And with a happy, nervous grin
He bends his ear to listen in
   And hear Australia's score.

Sun-up.  The dogs and horses wait,
   Old Larry peers about.
"That kid," says he, "is sleeping late.
   Root the young blighter out . . ."
Now o'er the plain the cattle creep,
   Whips crack, and hoof beats pound;
But one small boy, a huddled heap,
Perched on the cart-tail fast asleep,
   Dreams of Old Trafford ground.

First published in The Herald, 9 July 1934

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 9, 2013 7:40 AM.

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