[Editor: This is a poem from Beyond the City Gates: Australian Story & Verse (1923) by Jack Moses.]
When the Seasons Come Again
The West is looking green and grand,
The country’s smiling sweet,
The cocky’s stirring up the soil,
And showering in the wheat.
The squatter’s got his wool in,
God send the country rain! —
You can give us any Government,
When the seasons come again!
Jack Moses, Beyond the City Gates: Australian Story & Verse, Sydney: Austral Publishing Co., 1923, page 172
cocky = (also spelt cockie) a farmer (the term was used to refer to poor bush farmers, from having land so poor that they were jokingly said to only be able to farm cockies, i.e. cockatoos, a type of bird; however, it was later used to refer to farmers in general)
squatter = in the context of Australian history, a squatter was originally someone who kept their livestock (mostly cattle and sheep) upon Crown land without permission to do so (thus illegally occupying land, or “squatting”); however, the practice became so widespread that eventually the authorities decided to formalise it by granting leases or licenses to occupy or use the land; and, with the growth of the Australian economy, many of the squatters became quite rich, and the term “squatter” came to refer to someone with a large amount of farm land (they were often regarded as rich and powerful)
Leave a Reply