The Breaking o’ the Drought [poem by Jack Moses]

[Editor: This is a poem from Beyond the City Gates: Australian Story & Verse (1923) by Jack Moses.]

The Breaking o’ the Drought

The rain on the wind, that comes from the West,
Brings a sigh of relief to everyone’s breast.
I cart see a strong people away on The Plains,
Silently thanking our God for the rains;
I can see the creeks running all filled to the hilt,
And feeding the rivers all going full tilt.
The Billabong waters have come to the spill,
And the brolgas are dancing their dainty quadrille;
The crowfoot and clover are out on the track,
And the blacksoil is bogging the bullocks outback;
The train, in the cutting, is racing the clock,
And the Agents and Buyers are looking for stock;
The crop in the paddock is beginning to peep,
And the stations are shearing what’s left of the sheep.
I can see in the dusk, at the close of the day,
King Drought get the “boot” as he’s passing away.
Has he taught us a lesson? Shall the stream run in vain?
Shall we all go to sleep, till it’s drought time again?

Jack Moses, Beyond the City Gates: Australian Story & Verse, Sydney: Austral Publishing Co., 1923, page 153

Editor’s notes:
billabong = a dead-end water channel which forms a lagoon or pool; a backwater channel formed by water left behind after a river has flooded and then receded, or after a river has changed course; a creek bed which only contains water during the rainy season; a dried-up creek bed

boot = to “get the boot” is to be kicked out (ejected) of a job, place, group, or situation

brolga = a species of Australian crane (Grus rubicunda), noted for their elaborate and ritualised mating dances

quadrille = a square dance, usually for four couples (may also refer to the music used for such a dance)

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