[Editor: This poem by “Banjo” Paterson was published in The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses, 1895.]
I have gathered these stories afar
In the wind and the rain,
In the land where the cattle-camps are,
On the edge of the Plain.
On the overland routes of the west,
When the watches were long,
I have fashioned in earnest and jest
These fragments of song.
They are just the rude stories one hears
In sadness and mirth,
The records of wandering years —
And scant is their worth.
Though their merits indeed are but slight,
I shall not repine
If they give you one moment’s delight,
Old comrades of mine.
Andrew Barton Paterson. The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1896 [January 1896 reprinting of the October 1895 edition], page ix
overland = an overland stock route (of which there were several), used for the droving of cattle or sheep overland, especially through remote areas
rude = primitive, raw or rough, or in an unfinished state or natural condition (not to be confused with the modern usage of “rude” as someone being discourteous or ill-mannered)
Al Hewson says
An Aussie has added a beautiful melody. Bushwackers or Bullamakanka?