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The Queensland Border (1917)

I served my time as a station hand
In northern most New South Wales ;
Employed as a bound'ry rider, and
To mend the broken rails.

I rode my stretch of the boss's fence
As regular as the sun,
And plodded away without pretence
As though I owned the run.

'Twas a border fenoe, be it understood ;
Beyond the bound'ry gate
To North, there stretched the Queensland wood,
To South, the Mother State.

And as the evening light would pale,
And by the rails I'd pass,
I'd smoke my pipe in New South Wales,
And spit on Queensland grass.

A free selector 'cross the way
An only daughter had ;
Ones as I passed, I heard her say :
" This place is louely, dad."

Her hair of gold, her eyes of blue,
Aflame with lovelit glance,
Had strengthened my resolve anew
To give love's dream a chance.

I took her in my arms' embrace,
And whispered soft, but clear :
"This is a wild, deserted place
Are you not lonely here ?"

She gazed toward the mountain peaks,
And to the skies of blue,
I kissed her dew-wet rosebud cheeks
And whispered : "Love is true."

A soft breeze gently fanned the blush
That tinged her snowy brow,
As he replied, "The sombre bush,
Seems not so lonely now."

And there, beneath the fading day,
Two lovers might be seen,
Hand clasping hand across the way,
The Border fence between.

For weary hours "Lovemaker" fed
On splintered posts and rails ;
In Queensland atmosphere his head,
His tail in New South Wales.

But now, old prad is sleek and fat,
And glossy is his hide ;
He whinnied for a fondling pat,
Down by the Sydney side.

For Love had aimed his arrow true,
And winged its passage straight,
Across the Queensland border to
Its mark in Mother State.

Urana 30/6/17.


From the NSW Newspaper the Urana Independent and Clear Hills Standard 8 Jun 1917 p. 5.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory