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A Poem by E. S. Sorensen (Written for this paper by E. S. Sorensen.)
The homestead stands by a winding stream,
That croons through the livelong day;
As a song in a lovelorn maiden's dream;
Even now I can hear its lay.
It stirs the memories of long gone years
That we knew by those rock-caps brown,
When we heard the click of the busy shears,
Or the groan of a colt thrown down.
The big brown boulders are clothed in moss,
The homestead is built among,
And o'er them the tops of the green trees toss,
That shelter the billabong.
O'er the ridge to eastward the blackbutt lies,
Just midway is Waawon House,
And over the mountain that tips the skies,
At Nanango the boys carouse.
I see the rugged escarpment where
The black was run o'er one morn,
When a mob of cattle stampeded there
With a clatter of hoof and horn.
Stone dead the horse lay upon the heath,
'Tween a stone and a stunted, tree,
But the blackboy rose from its neck beneath,
And never a scratch had he!
Thro' the Myall Scrub, by the Crow's Nest track,
I fancy I hear the stroke
Of each thudding hoof, and the deadwood crack.
Where the nags from the thicket broke.
Old Rocket, swift as a whirlwind, flies
Through the tangle of green belar;
Its ears laid back as he tops the rise,
To the swing of the foam-flecked bar.
His rider's torn by the brush and briar,
His raiment is tattered, too,
As he clears the creeks in his wild desire,
With the leap of a kangaroo.
His eyes are fixed with a joyous light,
On the horses he's followed far;
While a 'kerchief flits in his meteor flight
Like the flash of a wild galar.
To right and left his companions fly
Over logs and o'er dazzling streams,
As lightning-streaks on a clouded sky
The shoe on each swift hoof gleams.
Through the pine and bramble the brumbies dash,
With a swift, and a sweeping stride,
Whilst ever beside them the stirrups clash
To the roar of the plaited hide.
In vain they try from the yard to wheel,
And again to regain the glen;
The station horses are true as steel
To the call of the station men.
The stockwhips fall with a thund'rous crack,
Awhile there's a deafening din;
Then the gatos are closed, and the reins fall slack,
For the nags from the wilds are in.
From Australian Town and Country Journal 29 March 1905, p. 27.
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory