Song of the Stockman [song, 28 June 1884]

[Editor: This song was part of a story by Grosvenor Bunster, entitled “A Terrible Legacy: A Story of English and Australian Life”; in the narrative, the song is sung by Tom Grist, who attributes it to a tramp named “Frank the Poet”. Published in The Riverine Grazier, 28 June 1884.]

Song of the Stockman

When the sky in the east is streaked with red,
As the early morn is breaking,
The stockman springs from his grassy bed,
The dew from his blankets shaking;
Around are grazing the dappled hides;
From the far back blocks he’s brought them;
They are wild, and often in headlong rides
Through gully and scrub he’s sought them

A bracing sluice in the babbling creek,
And a bushman’s breakfast over;
Then his horse has strayed, and he starts to seek
For miles, maybe, the rover;
But up in the saddle at last he’s got;
A mad steers turns to gore him;
His stockwhip cracks like a pistol shot,
And the mob stream out before him.

Then who would pine in the city’s crush
With cheeks so wan and whitened,
When the keen bush air brings a blooming blush,
And a heart from trouble lightened?
Let tradesfolk toil for their paltry gold,
Then die, for others to spend it; —
Give me the life of a stockman bold,
And a grave ’neath the grass to end it!

The Riverine Grazier (Hay, NSW), 28 June 1884, p. 1 of the supplement

Also published in:
The North Eastern Ensign (Benalla, Vic.), 27 June 1884, p. 1 of the supplement
The Shoalhaven Telegraph (Nowra, NSW), 24 July 1884, p. 1 of the supplement
The Broadford Courier and Reedy Creek Times (Broadford, Vic.), 21 December 1894, p. 6
The Oakleigh Leader (North Brighton, Vic.), 22 December 1894, p. 3

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