The Border Route [poem by Roderic Quinn, 15 January 1925]

[Editor: A poem by Roderic Quinn.]

The Border Route

Nursed onward weary mile on mile
A laggard mob and slow,
Along the dusty Border route
The travelling wethers go.

The grassless earth, made bare by drought,
Burns hot beneath their feet;
A sun-browned drover rides behind,
Red-eyed with dust and heat.

Grey fences stretch on either side,
The sun fierce radiance pours
Upon their backs, while overhead,
Wide-winged, an eagle soars.

Around about them, far and wide,
The plains lie still and mute;
Three weeks with little rest between
They’ve trudged the Border route.

When stars take up the vigil-task
Abandoned by the sun,
They’ll camp to-night, another stage
Of heat and famine done.

Maybe, they’ll dream of Mitchell grass —
Tall grass and cooling streams,
While he who rides behind dreams, too,
A lonely drover’s dreams.

— Roderic Quinn.

The Worker (Brisbane, Qld.), Thursday 15 January 1925, page 3

Editor’s notes:
laggard = someone who lags behind; a dawdler, a straggler

wethers = castrated rams

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