(Air: “She Wore a Wreath of Roses”)
He wore an old blue shirt the night that first we met,
An old and tattered cabbage-tree concealed his locks of jet;
His footsteps had a languor, his voice a husky tone;
Both man and dog were spent with toil as they slowly wandered home.
I saw him but a moment — yet methinks I see him now —
While his sheep were gently feeding ’neath the rugged mountain brow.
When next we met, the old blue shirt and cabbage-tree were gone;
A brand new suit of tweed and “Doctor Dod” he had put on;
And arm in arm with him was one who strove, and not in vain,
To ease his pockets of their load by drinking real champagne.
I saw him but a moment, and he was going a pace;
Shouting nobbler after nobbler, with a smile upon his face.
When next again I saw that man his suit of tweed was gone,
The old blue shirt and cabbage-tree once more he had put on;
Slowly he trudged along the road, and took the well-known track
From the station he so lately left with a swag upon his back.
I saw him but a moment, as he was walking by
With two black eyes and a broken nose and a tear-drop in his eye.
A. B. Paterson (editor), The Old Bush Songs, Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1905, pp. 116-117
Previously published in:
The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld.), 29 September 1894, p. 596 [the only variation being that the line “And arm in arm” did not begin with the word “And” in the newspaper version]