[Editor: This poem by Henry Lawson was published in In the Days When the World Was Wide and Other Verses, 1896.]
Only one old post is standing —
Solid yet, but only one —
Where the milking, and the branding,
And the slaughtering were done.
Later years have brought dejection,
Care, and sorrow; but we knew
Happy days on that selection
Underneath old Bukaroo.
Then the light of day commencing
Found us at the gully’s head,
Splitting timber for the fencing,
Stripping bark to roof the shed.
Hands and hearts the labour strengthened;
Weariness we never knew,
Even when the shadows lengthened
Round the base of Bukaroo.
There for days below the paddock
How the wilderness would yield
To the spade, and pick, and mattock,
While we toiled to win the field.
Bronzéd hands we used to sully
Till they were of darkest hue,
‘Burning off’ down in the gully
At the back of Bukaroo.
When we came the baby brother
Left in haste his broken toys,
Shouted to the busy mother:
‘Here is dadda and the boys!’
Strange it seems that she was able
For the work that she would do;
How she’d bustle round the table
In the hut ’neath Bukaroo!
When the cows were safely yarded,
And the calves were in the pen,
All the cares of day discarded,
Closed we round the hut-fire then.
Rang the roof with boyish laughter
While the flames o’er-topped the flue;
Happy days remembered after —
Far away from Bukaroo.
But the years were full of changes,
And a sorrow found us there;
For our home amid the ranges
Was not safe from searching Care.
On he came, a silent creeper;
And another mountain threw
O’er our lives a shadow deeper
Than the shade of Bukaroo.
All the farm is disappearing;
For the home has vanished now,
Mountain scrub has choked the clearing,
Hid the furrows of the plough.
Nearer still the scrub is creeping
Where the little garden grew;
And the old folks now are sleeping
At the foot of Bukaroo.
Henry Lawson. In the Days When the World Was Wide and Other Verses, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1903 [first published 1896], pages 160-162