[Editor: This song was published in the “Flotsam and Jetsam” column of The Queenslander (4 August 1894). Two different versions of the same song were included on the same page; this is the version supplied by G. Doyle, which uses the phrase “stalwart young stockman” (the other version, supplied by F. Harrison, uses the phrase “strapping young stockman”). This song was also published in Banjo Paterson’s collection, The Old Bush Songs (1905), with some variations.]
Songs of the bush.
[Some correspondents who have been kind enough to respond to our request for contributions to this column have formed a wrong impression of the scope of the undertaking and have sent in bush poems — good enough in their way, but not what are wanted. We ask only for bush songs — songs that are sung every day by the camp fire and in the hut to familiar airs. We fully appreciate the industry of those who have set themselves to compose songs since the first notice appeared, but we want only old ditties, such as “The Overlander” or “The Drover.” This week two correspondents have sent in two different versions of “The Dying Stockman,” both of which are published. That placed first, supplied by G. Doyle, Gubberamunda, Roma, is much superior to the other, which is sent by F. Harrison, Dalby.]
The Dying Stockman.
Air — “Wrap me up in my tarpaulin jacket.”
A stalwart young stockman lay dying,
His saddle supporting his head,
As o’er him the summer breeze sighing
When he lifted his faint voice and said:
Chorus.— “Wrap me up in my well-worn old blanket,
And lay me in peace down below,
And tell all the old mates that knew me
That I’ve gone where all good fellows go.
“Tell them not to grieve over me sadly,
Or mourn that I’m gone to my grave;
But tell all that have treated me badly
That I fully and freely forgave.
“’Tis only a year since I started
In the first flush of manhood and pride,
And now all my strength has departed,
In the lot of all men I abide.
“There’s one service I would ask before leaving:
There’s a girl away down in the South;
Just tell her — it may soothe her grieving —
Her name was the last in my mouth.”
Then, with calmness and peace as from heaven
Upon his bronzed features expressed,
He gave up the life God had given
And silently passed to his rest.
The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld.), Saturday 4 August 1894, page 212