Australian Folk Songs

songs | books | records | articles | glossary | links | search | responses | home

Droving Dreams (1917)

For the "Stock and Station Journal."

O who may go a-droving,
And not indulge in dreams ?
We thread the farthest highways
And skirt the silent streams,
Where heroes gone have left their tracks
To mark the white man's way--
On Cooper, Dawson, Warrego,
And gum-groved Castlereagh.

And farther yet--out to the fringe
Where desert sands lie deep--
We've fought our way with thirsty steers,
Or battled, on with sheep.
We've dodged a dozen deaths a year,
And lived ten years in one ;
Oft done a week's work in a day--
With more to do undone !

To-day we face an arid stretch,
To-morrow breast a stream ;
Now on through clouds of ruddy dust,
Then on through pools a-gleam ;
For weary miles our famished herd
Must barren reaches pass,
Anon to wend, with gleaming hides,
Knee deep in gleaming grass.

By day and dark we are in touch
With venture, good or ill ;
Death squeals from out a bucking horse,
Or lurks in starlight still.
Behind a bole to break our course,
When cattle rush off camp ;
Or gives us check at waterholes,
We find are merely damp !

Sweet Eos, too, is kind to us,
That wait her dewy kiss;
A thousand phases will she show
To swell a lover's bliss.
And then bold Sol, as jealous male,
Who would our hearts retake--
Where she strews blushes for our bonds
Flings gold upon her wake.

So whether day be dark or fair,
The night be wild or still,
Each hour shall hold a memory,
Our later dreams to till.
Let fortune smile, let stress be dire,
All shall but serve the stream
That sways us as we drift behind
The drawing mob--a dream.



From the Newspaper the Sydney Stock and Station Journal 31 Aug 1917 p. 5.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory