Recently in Farming Category

Milking Cows by Kathleen Dalziel

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Oh, it's pleasant, early mornings,
   Milking cows,
When the wet leaves sparkle on the lightwood boughs,
And the rusting fencing wires
Are all strung with dewy fires,
As the fleecy sunlight finds me
   Milking cows.

I can see, these autumn mornings,
   Milking cows,
A far-off hillside where a neighbor ploughs,
All chocolate squares and green;
I can smell the earth scents keen,
Better far than frying bacon,
   Milking cows.

Hear the magpies sing o' mornings,
   Milking cows,
Singing madly from a dead gum's naked boughs,
And the butcher-bird's clear whistles,
And the scrub wrens in the thistles,
I should miss them if I wasn't
   Milking cows.

Still, it's very quiet of evenings,
   Milking cows,
Quiet and lonely in a season that allows
No time for two to meet
When they're putting in the wheat,
And it's dark before I finish
   Milking cows.

And the frosty starlight finds me
   Milking cows,
While the sleepy-headed ranges seem to drowse.
I must hurry or be late.
Is that someone at the gate
While I'm still (Stand over, Blossom!)
   Milking cows?

First published in The Bulletin, 30 May 1934

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

Ploughing by Mabel Forrest

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      Ploughing three abreast,
      Not a minute's rest;
Turing out the black soil, and the couch grass turning in.
Pale against the sky-line, blue gums tall and thin.
      Rustle greeting to each other
      While the daisy heads I smother
Underneath the warm earth buried, poor crushed blossoms one by one,
One side of the furrow shadow, one side of the furrow sun.

      Ploughing three abreast,
      Straining flank and chest.
Ah! They are a bonny trio, chestnut, bay and darkest brown,
And they make their furrows straightly, like a lady's pleated gown.
      All the air is crisp with spring
      Where the dancing pee-wees wing;
Loud I whistle as I follow, till the morning's work is done,
One side of the furrow shadow, one side of the furrow sun.

First published in The Bulletin, 12 April 1906

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

When the Crop's Above the Fence by C.J. Dennis

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Have you ever followed harrers, when you couldn't see the team
For the blindin', chokin' dust that clung around you?
Have you ever tackled cleanin' when it's mostly dirt you're screenin'?
Have the rabbits or the locusts ever found you?
Have you ever reaped two bushels, with the price at one-an'-eight?
Did you ever think it worth your while to cart it?
Have you ever finished seedin', when the rain is all you're needin',
An' there never comes a blessed drop to start it?
         Oh, the weariness an' wear
         Of the waitin' an' despair,
When the crop is thin an' spare, an' when the drouthy days commence.
         Then you view the land like Moses,
         As each red-hot evenin' closes:
But it's bloomin' milk and roses when the crop's above the fence!

Have you stood an' watched the weather gather thickly in the west?
Have your spirits rose as skies began to frown?
Have the clouds that promised rain -- cleared, an' come, an' cleared again?
Have your fingers ever itched to tear 'em down?
Have you gone to bunk at evenin', when the clouds nigh touched the earth?
Have you listened for the patter on the roof?
Has the mornin' broken clear, with a hellish atmosphere,
That you swore, by all the gods, was waterproof?
         When you're worn for want o' sleepin',
         An' the weary watch you're keepin';
When the crop is slyly peepin', an' you're crazin' with suspense:
         With the watchin' an' the waitin',
         'Neath a sky like copper-platin'.
Oh, ain't it elevatin' when the crop's above the fence.

Have you ever felt the burden of a weighty over draft,
When your implements an' stock were up the spout,
When a drop of rain would make you, an' a wind from north would break you?
Have you tried to calmly sit an' see it out?
Have you interviewed the manager, an' crawled for all you're worth?
Have you waited his reply, with thoughts that burnt?
Have you ever tried a fake, for the wife an' kiddies' sake?
Has he told you that he's sorry -- but he durn't? 
         Oh, the strainin' an' the strivin',
         An' the plannin' an' contrivin',
When the Bank has took to drivin', a' puts off polite pretense:
         When it takes to plainly statin'
         That it's gettin' tir'd of waitin' --
Tho', it's most accommodatin' when the crop's above the fence.

Have you watched your kiddies graftin' from the time they learned to walk?
Have you told yourself it isn't just nor fair?
Did you note the missus frettin', summer evenin's, when you're settin'
By the slip rails, try'n' to get a breath of air?
Worst of troubles that beset you -- has the rust been in an' e't you?
When you wouldn't cut for hay, altho' 'twas sense.
Then you've had good cause to rue it, as the reaper slithers thro' it,
Bag an acre! tho' it stands above the fence.
         Oh, you dwellers in the city!
         Can you spare one thought of pity
For the cockie and the grit he shows, when heart and mind are tense?
         Tough old battlers all!  Here's to you!
         You were white men as I knew you --
Here's a Merry Chris'mas to you, and a crop above the fence!

First published in The Critic, 13 December 1902

My Venture in Wool by C.J Dennis

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I wish I hadn't sold my sheep.
   Now wool's gone up
I sit here, sipping -- as I weep --
   A bitter cup.
In '31, when none sought wool,
   I bought them cheap;
And now I feel I was a fool
   To sell my sheep.

I used to watch them graze about
   On my estate.
I'd made the fences safe and stout
   And barred the gate.
And often, when the skies were blue
   And kind the sun,
I used to count them two by two
   And one by one.

I'd count them over; then I'd take
   To dreaming there
Of what vast fortunes men might make
   If, by some rare
Good chance, wool should go up. Alas!
   Oh, smiling skies!
Oh, patient sheep and gleaming grass!
   Wool wouldn't rise.

A neighbour, counting them one day,
   Asked would I sell.
I haggled in my poor, weak way
   Then said, "Aw, well,
   I might." Wool still, was very cheap.
So, nothing loth --
   Alas my profitable sheep! --
I sold them -- both.

First published in The Herald, 21 September 1933;
and later in
The Courier-Mail, 7 October 193.

Cow by C.J. Dennis

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Aw, go write yer tinklin' jingle, an' yer pretty phrases mingle,
Fer the mamby-pamby girl, all fluffy frill an' shinin' silk.
Them's the sort ter fetch yer trouble, when yer tries 'em, in the double.
Blow yer beauty! Wot's the matter with the maiden 'oo kin milk?
Them there rhymers uv the wattle!  An' the bardlet uv the bottle --
'Im that sings uv sparklin' wine, an' does a perish fer the beer;
An' yer slap-dash 'orsey po-it!  Garn!  If you blokes only know it,
You 'ave missed the single subjec' fit ter rhyme about down 'ere.
An' although I ain't a bard, with bloomin' bays upon me brow,
I kinsider that it's up ter me ter sing about The Cow.
            Cow, Cow --
        (Though it ain't a pretty row,
It's a word that 'ipnertises me; I couldn't tell yer 'ow.)
        Though I ain't a gifted rhymer,
        Nor a blamed Parnassus climber,
I'm inspired ter sing a tune er two about the Blessed Cow.
Oh, the cow-bells are a-tinklin', and the daisies are a twinklin'--
Well, that ain't the style ersackly I intended fer to sing.
'Ark, was over music greater then the buzzin' sepy-rater,
Coinin' gaily money daily fer the -- no, that's not the thing!
'Omeward comes the cows a-lowin', an' the butter-cups are blowin';
But there's better butter in the -- Blarst ! That ain't the proper way
See the pretty milkmaid walkin' -- aw, it ain't no use er talkin'.
Listen 'ere, I want ter tell yer this: A cow's ther thing ter pay!
Sell yer 'orses, sell yer arrers, an' yer reapers, an' yer plough;
If yer want yer land ter pay yer, sacrifice yer life ter Cow.
            Cow, Cow --
        Sittin' underneath the bough,
With a bail, an' with a pail, an' with a little stool, an' thou
        Kickin' when I pull yer teat there,
        Swishin' flies, the pretty creatur.
Ah, there ain't no music sweeter -- money squirtin' from the Cow.
Take away the wine-cup; take it.  An' the foamin' flagon, break it.
Brimmin' cups uv butter-milk'll set yer glowin' thro' an' thro';
An' the reason I'm teetotal is becos me thrifty throat'll
Jest refuse ter swaller stuff that's costin' me a precious sou.
Once I wus a sinful spender. Used ter go a roarin' bender --
Used ter often spend a thruppence when ther' wasn't any need.
An' the many ways I've busted money, when I should er trusted
It ter cattle an' erconomy, 'ud cause yer 'eart ter bleed
But I'm glad, me friends, that godliness 'as made me careful now;
Tho' I lorst the thing wot's next it when I cottoned ter the Cow.
            Cow, Cow --
        Trudin' thro' the sloppy slough.
Ah, I once despised the Jews, but I kin under-stand 'em now --
        When they needed elevatin',
        An' ole Moses kep' 'em waitin'
Fer religi'n, they went straight 'n' sorter substichooted Cow.
Listen to the lowin' cattle.  Listen to the buckets rattle,
See, the sun is - ('Ere! You Bill!  Yer goin' ter stay all day asleep?
'Ustle, or yer'll get a taste er -- Wot?  No cheek yer flamin' waster!
This is wot I get fer payin' 'arf a quid a week an' keep!
Talk about yer unions, will yer?  Right, me covey, wait until yer
Come 'ere crawlin' - Where's that Sarah?  Ain't she finished milkin' Spot? 
Is this wot I brought yer up fer; reared, an' give yer bite an' sup fer?
'Struth! A man's own kids 'll next be talkin' Union, like as not
Garn, I ain't got time ter listen ter yer silly sniv'lin' now.
Understan' me, you was born an' bred ter think an' live fer Cow!)
            Cow, Cow --
        I'm a capitalist now
Tho' I once wus poor an' lonely, an' a waster I'll allow.
        Now I've 'an's that I kin 'ector:
        I'm a Nupper 'Ouse elector;
An' the Sanitry Inspector is an interferin' cow!
Talk about yer modrun schoolin'! Edjucation's wasteful foolin'!
I got on without it; an' it only teaches youngsters cheek --
(Where's young Tom? Wot? Ain't 'e back yet?
Sam, go -- 'Ere You'll get the sack yet!
Wastin' time there, washin' buckets! Them wus washed larst Choosdee week!
Tell young Tom if 'e don't 'urry, I'll --.  Now, mother, don't yer worry.
I'll deal Christian with 'im; but I'm not a Bible pa by 'alf.
That ole Scripchure cove's a driv'lin' idjut.  When 'is son comes sniv'lin',
Why, the blazin', wasteful crim'nal goes an' kills a poddy calf!
I'm no dotin' daddy, but I know me jooty, you'll allow,
An' the children uv me loins is born to 'ave respect fer Cow.)
            Cow, Cow -
        (Bow yer 'eads, yer blighters, bow!)
Come an' be initiated.  Come an' take the milky vow,
        Put yer wife an' fam'ly in it;
        Work 'em ev'ry wakin' minit;
Fetch yer sordid soul an' pin it, signed an' sealed an' sold ter COW.

First published in The Bulletin, 26 April 1906, and again in the same magazine on 21 August 1913; 
and later in
Backblock Ballads and Other Verses by C.J. Dennis, 1918

Smiler Smith: The Legend of a Freak by C.J. Dennis

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"No; I don't believe in croakers," said McGee of Brady's Bend
   To a writing man in search of rustic lore,
"Tho' the bloke that's allus smilin' samples trouble in the end.
   'Ave I ever told you 'bout Bill Smith afore?
Thought I never.  Tho' I might 'ave done, fer that pertic'ler yarn's
   Quite a favrit one uv mine, becos it shows
All the truth uv that old sayin', 'More yer lives ther more yer larns.'
   ('Ave yer got a plug uv baccer 'bout yer clothes?)

"Now, I s'pose yer've 'eard the cockie's allus growlin', more or less.
   Yer kin 'ardly blame the ones that lives roun' 'ere.
It's a Gawd-fergotten country, an' th'r mostly in a mess;
   Never yet 'ad wot yer'd call a decent year.
On the payin' land the cockie's on the grumble all the same?
   Yes, but there it's just a case uv policy;
So's to keep too many comin' on the land to spoil ther game.
   That's to scare off opposition, don't yer see?

"Well, take this 'ere bloke, Bill Smith, wus wot yer'd call quite oppersite:
   'E was never known to grumble in 'is life;
But was allus on the smilin' racket, mornin', noon, an' night.
   'Owsoever things wus shapin' -- (Len's yer knife.)
So 'e come 'ere with 'is fambly, an' took up a bit uv land --
   That's to say, 'e 'ad a wife an' one small child --
Bein' only lately married -- an' the 'opes 'e 'ad was grand.
   W'en we told 'im that 'e'd starve 'e only smiled.

"An' 'e smiled a trifle wider w'en 'e found the farm 'e'd bought
   Wasn't 'arf up to the 'count the vendor give;
But 'e never threatened lor, nor sued the agent -- as 'e ought;
   Only smiled, an' settled down, an' tried to live.
Course 'is first year wus a failure, an' 'is crop come up that thin
   That 'e turned the poultry on it, fer to scratch.
Sed 'e'd 'ave ter grin an' bear it, an' 'e did -- erspechly grin,
   Like a bloomin' 'eathen image -- (Got a match?)

Then, to make 'is troubles 'arder, 'e'd another mouth to feed --
   An addition to 'is fambly that same year;
But 'e came the 'appy father -- it ud made yer 'eart-strings bleed
   Fer to see the poor chap smile frum ear to ear.
That wus only the beginnin'.  Same ole story ev'ry year:
   Ev'ry season like the one uv w'ich I spoke;
An' 'e kept on 'avin' failures, an' 'is missus 'avin' -- ('Ere!
   Wot durn rotten sorter baccer's this yer smoke?)

"Well, 'is smile become a sorter institootion in a way,
   'Cos around these drouthy parts 'is sort wus rare;
An' to strangers in the district we would point 'im out an' say:
   'There's a freak -- a smilin' cockie over there.'
Ev'ry Sunday, in the chapel, 'e'd sit smilin' in 'is place,
   Like as if 'e never knoo the touch uv sin;
An' w'enever 'ell wus mentioned 'e would nearly split 'is face,
   Seems the more 'e scented trouble more 'e'd grin.

"'E wus allus full uv worry, an' 'e toiled without a spell,
   But the corner uv 'is mouth was never dropped.
So 'e smiled on life, an' death, an' drouth, an' fate, an' fear uv 'ell,
   Fer exactly seven summers, then 'e stopped.
'Ow?  Well, not upon a sudden like, but slowly, by degrees,
   You could see 'is smile was fadin' outer sight:
Sorter frayin' at the edges -- goin' threadbare at the knees --
   Gettin' worn, an' old, an' tattered -- (Got a light?)

"Stan's to reason, you can't wear a thing fer ever an' a day,
   Thout it goin' w'en yer've 'ad it f'r a while.
'Tisn't go'n to larst a lifetime.  'Tain't to be expected -- Ay?
   It wus just the same with this 'ere feller's smile.
Cos 'e allus 'ad it on 'im, night an' day, in shine or rain,
   An' uv course, 'e couldn't 'elp but wear it out;
So 'e lost it, an' it wouldn't stand no patchin' up again,
   'Cos I often seen 'im tryin' -- (Go'n' ter shout?)"

First published in The Critic, 11 April 1903

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.

Song of the Wheat by A. B. "Banjo" Paterson

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We have sung the song of the droving days,
   Of the march of the travelling sheep;
By silent stages and lonely ways
   Thin, white battalions creep.
But the man who now by the land would thrive
   Must his spurs to a plough-share beat.
Is there ever a man in the world alive
   To sing the song of the Wheat!

It's west by south of the Great Divide
   The grim grey plains run out,
Where the old flock-masters lived and died
   In a ceaseless fight with drought.
Weary with waiting and hope deferred
   They were ready to own defeat,
Till at last they heard the master-word --
   And the master-word was Wheat.

Yarran and Myall and Box and Pine --
   'Twas axe and fire for all;
They scarce could tarry to blaze the line
   Or wait for the trees to fall,
Ere the team was yoked, and the gates flung wide,
   And the dust of the horses' feet
Rose up like a pillar of smoke to guide
   The wonderful march of Wheat.

Furrow by furrow, and fold by fold,
   The soil is turned on the plain;
Better than silver and better than gold
   Is the surface-mine of the grain;
Better than cattle and better than sheep
   In the fight with drought and heat;
For a streak of stubbornness, wide and deep,
   Lies hid in a grain of Wheat.

When the stock is swept by the hand of fate,
   Deep down in his bed of clay
The brave brown Wheat will lie and wait
   For the resurrection day:
Lie hid while the whole world thinks him dead;
   But the Spring-rain, soft and sweet,
Will over the steaming paddocks spread
   The first green flush of the Wheat.

Green and amber and gold it grows
   When the sun sinks late in the West;
And the breeze sweeps over the rippling rows
   Where the quail and the skylark nest.
Mountain or river or shining star,
   There's never a sight can beat --
Away to the sky-line stretching far --
   A sea of the ripening Wheat.

When the burning harvest sun sinks low,
   And the shadows stretch on the plain,
The roaring strippers come and go
   Like ships on a sea of grain;
Till the lurching, groaning waggons bear
   Their tale of the load complete.
Of the world's great work he has done his share
   Who has gathered a crop of wheat.

Princes and Potentates and Czars,
   They travel in regal state,
But old King Wheat has a thousand cars
   For his trip to the water-gate;
And his thousand steamships breast the tide
   And plough thro' the wind and sleet
To the lands where the teeming millions bide
   That say: "Thank God for Wheat!"

First published in The Lone Hand, 2 November 1914;
and later in
Saltbush Bill, J.P., and Other Verses by A.B. Paterson, 1917;
Selections from the Australian Poets edited by Bertram Stevens,1925;
The Collected Verse of A.B. Paterson by A.B. Paterson, 1982;
Song of the Pen, A.B. (Banjo) Paterson: Complete Works 1901-1941 edited by Rosamund Campbell and Philippa Harvie, 1983;
Banjo Paterson's Poems of the Bush by A.B. Paterson, 1987;
The Banjo's Best-Loved Poems edited by Rosamund Campbell and Philippa Harvie, 1989;
A Vision Splendid: The Complete Poetry of A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson by A.B. Paterson, 1990;
A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson: Bush Ballads, Poems, Stories and Journalism edited by Clement Semmler, 1992;
Selected Poems: A. B. Paterson compiled by Les Murray, 1992;
The Collected Verse of Banjo Paterson edited by Clement Semmler, 1993; and
An Australian Treasury of Popular Verse edited by Jim Haynes, 2002.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

Andy's Gone With Cattle by Henry Lawson

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Our Andy's gone to battle now
   'Gainst Drought, the red marauder;
Our Andy's gone with cattle now
   Across the Queensland border.

He's left us in dejection now;
   Our hearts with him are roving.
It's dull on this selection now --
   Since Andy went a-droving.

Who now shall wear the cheerful face
   In times when things are slackest?
And who shall whistle round the place
   When Fortune frowns her blackest?

Oh, who shall cheek the squatter now
   When he comes round us snarling?
His tongue is growing hotter now
   Since Andy cross'd the Darling.

The gates are out of order now,
   Each wind the riders rattle;
For far far across the border now
   Our Andy's gone with cattle.

Poor Aunty's looking thin and white;
   And Uncle's cross with worry;
And poor old "Blucher" howls all night
   Since Andy left Macquarie.

Oh, may the showers in torrents fall,
   And all the dams run over;
And may the grass grow green and tall
  In pathways of the drover!

And may good angels send the rain
   On desert stretches sandy;
And when the summer comes again
   God grant 'twill bring us Andy.

First published in Australian Town And Country Journal, 13 October 1888, and again in the same newspaper on 1 December 1888, 13 July 1889, and 18 November 1903;
and later in
The Bulletin, 22 February 1896;
In the Days When the World Was Wide and Other Verses by Henry Lawson, 1900;
Songs from Lawson by Henry Lawson, 1957;
Favourite Australian Poems edited by Ian Mudie, 1963;
From the Ballads to Brennan edited by T. Inglis Moore, 1964;
Poems of Henry Lawson edited by Walter Stone, 1973;
Australia Fair: Poems and Paintings edited by Douglas Stewart, 1974;
The World of Henry Lawson edited by Walter Stone, 1974;
The Essential Henry Lawson edited by Brian Kiernan, 1982;
A Treasury of Colonial Poetry, 1982;
A Camp-Fire Yarn: Henry Lawson Complete Works 1885-1900 edited by Leonard Cronin, 1984;
The Illustrated Treasury of Australian Verse edited by Beatrice Davis, 1984;
Henry Lawson: An Illustrated Treasury compiled by Glenys Smith, 1985;
The Bushwackers Australian Song Book edited by Jan Wositzky and Dobe Newton, 1988;
A Collection of Australian Bush Verse, 1989;
A Treasury of Bush Verse by G. A. Wilkes, 1991;
Australian Bush Poems, 1991;
The Penguin Book of Australian Ballads edited by Elizabeth Webby and Philip Butterss,  1993;
The Illustrated Treasury of Australian Verse compiled by Beatrice Davis, 1996; and
Classic Australian Verse edited by Maggie Pinkney, 2001.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library, The Poetry of Henry Lawson website

See also.

Shifting Sand by Charles Henry Souter

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Do you see that post a-stickin in the sand?
Just the point of it a-poking thro' the sand?
   Me and Madge put in that fence.
   Yes! We should have had more sense!
We was young, you see, and didn't understand.

Twenty years come next November we began;
There was nothing here but scrub when we began --
   Sold the farm on "Dingo Flat,"
   And put all we had in that!
Into blasted shifting sand and "Take-all pan."

This here paddick--which? Why where you're standing now
(Oh! it was one, tho' you wouldn't think so now!)
   Well, we grubbed it, nice and neat,
   And we gut it in with wheat;
And we didn't reap enough to feed the cow!

In the early spring the sand began to shift ---
In a "Norther" have you ever seen it shift?
   Well, it all went in a night,
   Not a blade was left in sight
When we come to look next morning at the drift!

Round the back there, by them stunted pepper-trees;
Hardly anything will live here but them trees.
   Madge is lying there, asleep,
   With the sand above her, deep:
Deep and loose enough to sink you to the knees!

Many other things are buried on the land,
Things you can't get back from any kind of land,
   Youth and hope, and tears and sweat,
   Wasted work and vain regret,
In the sneaking, creeping, greedy, shifting sand!

First published in The Bulletin, 11 September 1897, and again in the same magazine on 5 April 1933;
and later in
Freedom on the Wallaby: Poems of the Australian People edited by Marjorie Pizer, 1953;
Old Ballads from the Bush edited by Bill Scott, 1987; and
Two Centuries of Australian Poetry edited by Kathrine Bell, 2007.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

The Broken-Down Squatter by Charles A. Flower

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Come, Stumpy, old man, we must shift while we can;
   All our mates in the paddock are dead.
Let us wave our farewells to Glen Eva's sweet dells
   And the hills where your lordship was bred;
Together to roam from our drought-stricken home --
   It seems hard that such things have to be,
And it's hard on a "hoss" when he's nought for a boss
   But a broken-down squatter like me!

No more shall we muster the river for fats,
   Or spell on the Fifteen-mile plain,
Or rip through the scrub by the light of the moon,
   Or see the old stockyard again.
Leave the slip-panels down, it won't matter much now,
   There are none but the crows left to see,
Perching gaunt in yon pine, as though longing to dine
   On a broken-down squatter like me.

When the country was cursed with the drought at its worst,
   And the cattle were dying in scores,
Though down on my luck, I kept up my pluck,
   Thinking justice might temper the laws.
But the farce has been played, and the Government aid
   Ain't extended to squatters, old son;
When my dollars were spent they doubled the rent,
   And resumed the best half of the run.   

'Twas done without reason, for leaving the season
   No squatter could stand such a rub;
For its useless to squat, when the rents are so hot
   That one can't save the price of one's grub;
And there's not much to choose 'twixt the banks and the Jews
   Once a fellow gets put up a tree;
No odds what I feel, there's no court of appeal
   For a broken-down squatter like me.

First published in The Queenslander, 30 June 1894;
and later in
Old Bush Songs: Composed and Sung in the Bushranging, Digging and Overlanding Days edited by A. B. Paterson, 1905;
The North Queensland Register, 25 February 1924;
The Bulletin, 17 January 1951;
From the Ballads to Brennan edited by T. Inglis Moore, 1964;
The Penguin Australian Song Book edited by J.S. Manifold, 1964;
Folk Songs of Australia and the Men and Women Who Sang Them edited by John Meredith and Hugh Anderson, 1967;
The Overlander Songbook edited by Ronald George Edwards, 1971;
Complete Book of Australian Folk Lore edited by Bill Scott, 1976;
Old Bush Songs and Rhymes of Colonial Times edited by Douglas Stewart and Nancy Keesing, 1976; and
The Penguin Book of Australian Ballads edited by Elizabeth Webby and Philip Butterss, 1993.

Author:  Charles Augustus Flower (1856-1948) was born in Port Fairy, Victoria and worked as a jackaroo there until moving to South West Queensland. He owned and ran properties in that area until his death in 1948.

Author reference sites:

Harvest by "J. G."

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See the golden corn is waving,
   Fann'd by every gentle breeze;
And the sun's fierce rays are shining,
   Shining through the tall gum trees.

Yonder see a group of reapers,
   Resting in a tree's cool shade;
Rest they want -- for well they earned it --
   Toiling with the sickle's blade.

Soon as dawn's first light appeared
   They to labour came away,
Shaking off, the silvery dewdrops
   'Ere the heat of the noonday.

Now the spell-time it is over,
   They to work again must go,
Like a band of sturdy soldiers,
   Setting forth to meet a foe.

Now the evening shades are closing,
   Homeward see the reapers steer,
Wash their sunburnt hands and faces,
   Then partake their evening cheer.

God of goodness, we would thank thee
   For thy gifts in times gone by,   
And for this abundant harvest
   We would waft thy praises high.

First published in The Queanbeyan Age, 6 January 1874

Author: the actual identity of "J. G." is unknown at this time.

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