Cradle Song [poem by Louis Esson]

[Editor: This poem by Louis Esson was published in Bells and Bees: Verses (1910).]

Cradle Song

Baby, O baby, fain you are for bed,
Magpie to mopoke busy as the bee;
The little red calf’s in the snug cow-shed,
An’ the little brown bird’s in the tree.

Daddy’s gone a-shearin’, down the Castlereagh,
So we’re all alone now, only you an’ me.
All among the wool-O, keep your wide blades full-O!
Daddy loves his baby, parted tho’ he be.

Baby, my baby, rest your drowsy head,
The one man that works here, tired you must be.
The little red calf’s in the snug cow-shed,
An’ the little brown bird’s in the tree.



Source:
Louis Esson, Bells and Bees: Verses, Melbourne: Thomas C. Lothian, 1910, [page 21]

Editor’s notes:
Castlereagh = the Castlereagh River, New South Wales

fain = happily or gladly; ready or willing; obliged or compelled

mopoke = a small brown owl, the Southern Boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae), also known as the Tasmanian spotted owl (on a related note, the Tawny Frogmouth is often mistaken for an owl, and is called a “mopoke” by some Australians)

Vernacular spelling in the original text:
an’ (and)

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