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The Drover's Lament For His Dog (1886)

When cast upon the billows strong
Of life, in lonely hours,
With naught but the breeze of the tall gum trees,
And the scent from the wattle flowers.

When hunger's pain hart wrecked my frame,
From none could I beg nor steal,
He oft has slain on the burning plain,
And shared with me his meal.

On watch at night on soft moonlight,
In the dark or o'er water deep,
He has lain on a log, this good old dog,
Whilst I lay down to sleep.

And well he know, which he ought to do,
If a beast stirred o'er his mark,
He would very soon be along side me,
And awake me up with his bark.

That I loved him well I need scarcely tell,
And when old and feeble he grew;
He was deaf and blind but never unkind,
And always proved to be true.

He ne'er sent a dart a'thro' my heart,
As a faithless maiden will;
But he's now in a grave where flowers wave,
On the side of a green sunny hill.

So no more on the road, I'll build my abode
Near the spot where my old dog lies,
Where the wattles' bloom and briars' perfume
Send a fragrance back to the skies.

And I'll live all alone in my obscure home,
For my life seems now in a fog,
And unto the end I will mourn my friend,
Old Ballie, my good old dog.


Colo Vale 20/12/85.


From the NSW Newspaper the Bowral Free Press and Berrima District Intelligencer Saturday 9 January 1886 p.4.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory