Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets
Howls of a Dingo
26th Jun 2014Posted in: Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets 0

HOWLS OF A DINGO
AUSTRALIAN BUSH RHYMES

BY

“AIMSFELD”

  VICTORIA, B.C.
DIGGON PRINTING COMPANY
OCTOBER, 1919
[unnumbered page]
[blank page]

 CONTENTS

[illustration]

A Pig-Hunt in New-Zealand 7
A Bush-Dream (by an ex-Australian Surveyor) 10
The Mail-Boy’s Old Pack Horse 15
The Shearer’s Last Spree (Authentic) 16
The Dude 24
A Shepherd’s Soliloquy 25
Colonial Experience 27
The Australian Sundowner 38
Getting His Own Back (Authentic) 39
The Dingo 44
My Travels (A true description) 45
My Sentiments (True, if not creditable) 48

[unnumbered page]

 [blank page]

 INTRODUCTION

     The writer of this little book of Australian Bush Rhymes has no poetic aspirations what-so-ever, and has written these verses simply with a view of making them descriptive, amusing and interesting.

Incidents describe here actually took place, and anyone acquainted with Australasian bush life will know they are not overdrawn.

Please be merciful in your criticisms; you can’t expect anything very high-toned or soul inspiring in the “Howls of a Dingo.”

“AIMSFELD”

Victoria, B.C.,
October, 1919. [unnumbered page]

 A PIG-HUNT IN NEW ZEALAND

[illustration]

His back against a Rata tree
   He’ll run no more today; 
But rare good sport it is to see
   That game old boar at bay.

With gnashing tusks, and glinting eye
   He braves both dogs and knife, 
And since he knows he has to die
   He’ll dearly sell his life

The barking dogs in savage glee 
   Make fierce and mad attack; 
Their rushes he is quick to see 
   And ripped, he hurls them back.

When Sancho makes a feint to rear
   What then will bully do?
He holds that boar fast by his ear, 
   Then Sancho grips one too. 

Against his sides they tug and strain, 
   And hold with firm strong grip; 
Small chance to shake them loose again, 
   Or with those tusks to rip [page 7]

And now I catch him by the heels
   And stick him with my knife; 
‘Tis sad to hear his doleful squeals, 
   While fast ebbs out his life.

Then at a creek he’s cleaned and dressed, 
   Off comes his noble head; 
No time to sit and take a rest, 
   But back to camp instead.

And over hills a good three miles
   I hump this weighty pack
The boys in camp, will be all smiles,
   To see me on the track.

Pork chops they’ll have, perhaps a fry,
   For some prefer pig’s liver
This pig that never saw a sty, 
   Will make a rare bush dinner.

Now, you at home, who hunt the hare, 
   Shoot pheasants, reared for game; 
Who brave the otter in his lair,
   An torture deer—Oh shame! [page 8]

Go, try your luck in Maori-land, 
   There, boards will test your mettle
Don’t use a gun, but knife in hand, 
   With dogs the fight you settle. 

Where danger lurks, true sport is there, 
   And should your quarry fight; 
Give him a chance, and treat him fair
   Even a pig!—“serve him right.”

[illustration]

[page 9]

A BUSH DREAM

(By an ex-Australian Surveyor)

[illustration]

Can I be in the bush once more?
   Where life is all so wild and free.
I can’t be dreaming, that, I’m sure, 
   It seems so very real to me. 

The glorious country, wild and grand, 
   The mountains’ solemn in their might, 
I must be in that new home-land
   Where shines the Southern Cross at night.

We’ve had a weary tramp today
   But now, the camp appears in sight 
That kangaroo, killed on the way, 
   Will make a tasty snack to-night.

Then after, by the bright camp fire, 
   We all sit spinning yarns and smoke, 
The cook, though he’s a champion liar, 
   Knows how to crack a good old joke.

He must have been an awful scamp
   Though once a “Toff” round Leicester Square,
But now he’s cooking at a camp; 
   “To bust” his cheque, his only care. [page 10]

To-morrow over the range we go, 
   And now it’s time we went to rest; 
No dingo’s howl in gully below, 
   Disturbs us though he howls his best.

Not waters rushing to the deep, 
   Nor croaking frogs in vile discord, 
There’s nothing will disturb our sleep
   Until the cook yells “all aboard.”

We’ll find it rough to reach the coast 
   The track being very hard to find
And what I really dislike most, 
   Is stragglers lagging far behind. 

As shifting camp’s no treat for me, 
   I’ll go ahead—just to locate, 
A camping place that’s near the sea, 
   Where firewood and water wait.

I’ll ride the “Doctor”—good old nag, 
   He’s had a very nice long spell, 
And much too good to pack a swag, 
   Though old, he’s sound as any bell. 

There’s no much riding up the range;
   ‘Tis rocky and so very rough,
But on the summit, what a change,
   Yes, of the scrub, we’ve had enough. [page 11]

We’ll rest while, the view being grand, 
   Of distant sea, and cloudless sky; 
Which links me to the old home-land
   That I left years ago, and why?

Because I tired of London life, 
   Bells of Cheapside, “Belles” of Mayfair,
The ladies, wine, another’s wife, 
   And evenings spent in Leicester Square.

As Parsons say, “I had a call”
   A still small voice would not be quiet, 
But bid me quit and chuck it all. 
   And cease this life of ease and riot. 

Go lead the life a man should lead, 
   Go see the world and try my luck. 
What’s often said, is true indeed, 
   There’s sometimes gold in what’s termed muck.

But now it’s late, and time to shift, 
   And give up useless thinking; 
‘Tis funny how one’s thoughts will drift, 
   When in the West, “Old Soul” is sinking.

I think I’ll cross that razor-back
   A ridge which crowns the Boambee
And then I ought to strike a track
   That soon will land me by the sea. [page 12]

No moon to-night, not many stars, 
   And devil a track can I find, 
I’m surely bushed, thick brush debars
   One making pace of any kind.

‘Tis slow work trying to force our way
   Through vine and stubborn supple-jack
If “Doctor” now could speak, he’s say,
   “You were a fool to leave that track.”

But hold a’bit what’s that I hear?
   ‘Tis breakers falling on the beach
I never thought we were so near—
   The coast that seemed so hard to reach.

But here’s a deep lagoon to cross, 
   For we must get on th’ other side
So “Doctor,” like aood old horse, 
   Will swim—for ‘tis not very wide.

Yes, “Doc,” old man, now in you go, 
   I’m in the saddle, you can swim, 
He shapes up well, does not lie low, 
   Being deep in girth, and strong of limb.

But, Oh! the bank on other side,
  ‘Tis very steep for us to mount
 And as the distance is not wide, 
   I thought that bank of no account. [page 13]

A rear; a splash, and “Doc” falls back
   And we are under that cold stream. 
I curse for having left the track
   And then awake—‘twas but a dream.

Awake to find myself in bed, 
   And hear a knocking at the door, 
“Your shaving water, Sir,” she said,
   “You are an awful one to snore.”

Ah, but that dream was sweet to me, 
   And how it makes me long in vain
To see that camp by old Boambee
   And swim that deep lagoon again.

[illustration]

[page 14]

THE MAIL BOY’S OLD PACK-HORSE

[illustration]

His back is sore he’s galled and lame, 
   And yet they load him just the same, 
None feels for him the least remorse,
He’s but the mail boy’s old pack-horse.

And packed with papers—for you see,
The Government, sends papers free,
They care not if the weight’s a loss
Or torment for that poor old horse. 

   Once, years ago, “the ladies’ pride”
The squatter’s wide loved him to ride
He took first prize on Logan’s course,
And now he’s but—an old pack-horse.

Longside a dismal swamp there lies, 
“Chief mourners,” swarms of cursed flies
Just left to rot—a matter of course,
All that remains of a Grand Old Horse. 

A tramp in passing holds his nose; 
His dog upon inspection goes; 
Returning, he would say, “Why, Boss, 
‘Tis but the bones of some old hoss.” [page 15]

THE SHEARER’S LAST SPREE

(An Australian Episode of the Eighties)

[illustration]

I knew Dan Donoghue quite well; 
A “white man,” Dan, though hard to tell
How ‘twas he spent his earlier days,
For Dan had some peculiar ways.

At one time he was flush of dah, 
And went the pace, and cut a dash; 
He didn’t funk work—it seems quite clear,
For very soon, he learned to shear.

A pound a hundred was the pay, 
And Dan could earn his pound a day
For all day long with body bent; 
He’d ply his shears, and well he meant—

To bank his cheque when once ‘twas paid, 
For good resolutions Dan had made, 
He’s save his money, take a trip,
In tip-top style, on a home bound ship.

I saw him at a half-way shanty
Where morals, and manners both were scanty
Where pois’nous grog, and lambing down
Soon eased a cove of his last half-crown. [page 16]

The place was run by one—MacPherson, 
A not too reputable person; 
His rum would kill at fifty yards,
His conscience bid him cheat at cards. 

Across the river—not far to ride, 
Was a station owned by old MacBride
And here worked Dan, year after year,
Though “on the bust” at times I fear.

Time after time, he started down, 
To see the sights of Napier town
But Mac’s old shanty he must pass,
And Dan would stop to have one glass—

Hear news, and give his horse a feed,
Which was not wise, but then indeed,
To ride straight on would not seem proper
But once inside, he’s come a cropper.

He stopped one day in rare good fettle, 
For Dan had ne’er a debt to settle;
MacPherson grabbed him by the hand, 
And swore it was his turn to stand—

What Dan might choose in way of drink,
But Dan was cautious, stopped to think.
Said “lemonade” was all he’d take, 
But purchases he had to make. [page 17]

His only togs were those he wore,
So over he’ll go to the store
As Mac’s shelves were stacked up for Spring
He’d rig Dan out in anything.

Then quickly the news got about, 
“That Dan was down,”—they knew he’d shout
Free drinks all round for thirsty mates, 
Rum, gin, or what might suit their tastes.

“’Twas full ‘em up, boss, what’s yer own?”
For men did not drink there alone, 
The drinks went round, time and again,
Though Dan would shout, they tried in vain.

To have him take, what’s called hard tack,
“Soft tack” was Dan’s demand to Mac
And would no spirits ever take,
But gladly he’d put up a stake.

Then dinner served, he’ll take a bite, 
For Dan won’t be in town ‘till night.
The grub was serve in rare bush style, 
MacPherson’s liquor, though, was vile. 

And then it was, Dan changed his mind, 
For bottled beer was hard to find; 
Jut only one, was all he’d take, 
But there he made a great mistake. [page 18]

‘Twas after dinner, drinks again; 
His resolutions all were vain, 
The craving came for something stronger, 
And bade him stay a little longer.

And then the dice old Mac produced,
And Dan’s hot sporting blood was loosed,
For soft tack now he’s no desire,
But what will set his brain on fire.

MacPherson’s work in nearly done, 
That devil’s agent’s surely won, 
And soon ‘twill be an easy job
For sunning Mac, poor Dan to rob.

To drink farewell, he’ll take a rum, 
The stuff that starts the brain to hum, 
That deadens sense, casts such a spell, 
It surely was distilled in hell. 

Next morning, early, what a sight,
For poor old Dan had slept all night—
In rain and mud, although he’d sense
To hitch his horse to a blue-gum fence.

‘T’was late when he set out for town, 
And no he has to be scraped down.
His nice new suit, with gaudy check
Like Dan, it looked an awful wreck. [page 19]
And now a pick-me-up he’ll take
His nerves bring on a dreadful shake,
MacPherson mixes him a drink
That bucks him up, and makes him think—

He’s better stay where so well known,
Instead of being in town alone; 
With cash in plenty Dan can choose,
So here he’ll stay, and have a booze.

He’s sure of friends while cash will last,
But once that’s gone, they’re of the past; 
‘Tis often said and too oft’ true,
They want your money, but not you.

Dan’s cheque for forty pounds or more—
Mac holds it safe, and what a score, 
Of drinks he’ll tab to Dan’s account, 
Drinks never had to such amount. 

Then all day long, far in the night, 
‘Twas drinking, gambling or a fight,
‘Till Dan grew sick, was off his feed, 
He wanted then a friend indeed.

Always more drink to put him straight, 
Until at last, he found too late, 
His cash was gone, and he was sick,
But stay he would, while Mac gave tick. [page 20]

But Ma who never knew a pal, 
Swore, he’d no bloomin’ hospital”
Dan’s had a spree, now let him get, 
But Mac will stand him one more wet.

And drink to help him on his way
But Dan must leave his horse, or pay—
The cash had when his cheque was spent, 
Though Dan forgot the way it went.

He rolls his swag with trembling hand,
For nature always will demand,
A toll, if men her gifts abuse, 
And extra toll from those who booze.

He plods along the rough bush track,
And all the while he’s cursing Mac,
Who lambed him down in bush-pub style,
And robbed him of his hard-earned pile.

And when at last hes done his best,
In fern-clad gully he must rest;
The laughing jack-ass (settler’s clock)
In merry peal, seems Dan to mock.

And laughs aloud, as though he’d say, 
“A drink of rum, rives care away,
‘Twill make you feel a man once more, 
Don’t mix with water, drink it raw.” [page 21]

His bottle being still three parts full, 
He takes a long and steady pull, 
He pouts the fiery spirit deep, 
Then seeks oblivion in sleep.

He tries to sleep, but tries in vain; 
His limbs are weary, not his brain  
His wandering mind is fraught with fear, 
And phantom forms he fancies near.

He’ll drown these fears those phantoms throttle
In feverish haste, he grasps his bottle,
Then drinks again, and does not stop,
Until he’s swallowed every drop.

He hurls the bottle at a tree,
And smashes it with fiendish flee.
“Take that MacPherson—damn you Mac,”
The night owl seems to answer back.

Asleep, he rests while in peace
And for a time his troubles cease,
He dreams of home, and days gone by,
And reckons not his end is nigh.

His dreams soon change, and in their place, 
Foul friends appear, and in each face,
Dan reads his doom, his fate is known
The devil comes to claim his own. [page 22]

They close around him, drawing near, 
With flaming eyes and horrid leer
Dan tries to run, but tries in vain, 
And then—a chord snaps in his brain.

With ‘wakening shriek, along the track,
Through lawyer vine, and supple-jack
He tears his way, while ghostly glide,
Those phantom footsteps by his side.

While faster still he onward goes, 
Ahead the foaming river flows, 
The gaunt blue-gums, their shadows cast,
As mad with terror, he runs past.

He’ll beat them yet, and win the race
For soon the river’s cool embrace,
Encircles him in icy shroud,
And whirls him past the spectral crowd.

Yes, swiftly whirls him on it’s course
And bids him feel no more remorse 
His troubled spirit now is free, 
But what an end to Dan’s last spree.

Upon a wreck of mispent days, 
The morning sun casts golden rays, 
On one who lacked the resolution,
To fight the devil in solution. [page 23]

THE DUDE

[illustration]

Now, one was a dude, a man about town, 
   Who seemed to have nothing whatever to do
The other, a miner, had just come down,
   To have a good time ‘round Woolomooloo,

‘Twas in the bar of a Sydney hotel,
   The barmaid who served was dainty and nice,
But she blushed at the yards the dude would tell,
   “Every woman,” quoth he,”has always her price.”

Then the miner turned, and said, “you cad,
   If one woman’s considered as bad as another,
And if they can all at a price be had,
   Say then! What was the price of your mother?”

[illustration]

[page 24]

 A SHEPHERD’S SOLILOQUY

[illustration]

A score of years, I’ve lived alone
   As shepherd on Kaipara run; 
I count the years so quickly flown,
   And think of things I might have done. 

But how I stick it—Goodness knows,
   ‘Tis wonderful I’ve not gone balmy,
My assets—dogs, a few old clothes,
   (Just think of Me—once in the army).

To leave this now, and try again, 
   The change would not agree—I think, 
For near a town, I’d try in vain
   To keep away from dice and drink.

The life is lonely, way back here,
   But I am free from all temptation;
I’ve drub and eighty pounds a year,
   And so I work for reparation.

I vowed to one whom I had wronged
   Our child should have all proper care
And if my days might be prolonged
   She’d never want or know despair. [page 25]

Some think that I’ve put money by—
   A mean old miser I must seem, 
While some would know the reason why,
   I oft’ appear as in a dream.

They all can think just what they please; 
   My dreams are very sweet to me, 
I dream of one who lives at ease; 
   That little girl, I long to see.

So here I stay, ‘midst dogs and sheep, 
   I’m in a world that’s all my own; 
I’ll keep the trust I vowed to keep, 
   There’s none to tempt—I’m here alone. 

But I know that my loved one’s near, 
   For ‘mid the silent hills it seems
I’m not alone, her voice I hear, 
   And she is with me in my dreams.

[illustration]

[page 26]

COLONIAL EXPERIENCE

[2 illustrations]

They said I was a Ne-er-do-well,
   the family disgrace,
I’ll own I was not much account,
   and really went the pace;
They said I ought to take a trip,
   for their good, also mine,
So packed me off to New South Wales,
   away across the line.

I landed fresh in Sydney town,
   so happy and so green,
And there I met the sweetest girl, 
   I thought I’d ever seen.
She served out drinks behind the bar,
   of Sydney’s best hotel,
I liked the best, so put up there,
   where best of all was—Nell.

At th’ Union bank, I cashed my draft,
   it was for eighty pounds,
With cash in hand, and Nell to guide,
   we soon got out of bounds. [page 27]

We sailed the harbor, took a trip,
   to Coogee, and Bondi
With theatres and the races too,
   we made the money fly.

A few short weeks so happily spent,
   they seemed too good to last,
I’d numerous friends, where-e’er I went,
   and duns were of the past.
But very soon there came a change, 
   for I’d been acting rash,
My funds were getting very low,
   and I must raise some cash.

So backing a “Certe” for the Cup, 
   I thought all might go well,
And started off so full of hope, to 
   Randwick Course with Nell.
We saw some horses racing past, my 
   “certe,” though, did not run
He had been scratched the night before,
   and Cunnamulla won.

I then was in an awful fix, for though 
   my debts were few,
My assets, they were almost nix,
   so what was I to do?
Hotel bill, and some other things
   must needs be settled up,
I’d never back a “certe” again, 
   and cursed that Sydney Cup. [page 28]

It looked as though I’d have to sleep, 
   perhaps in the Domain,
But “Uncle” let me have some cash, 
   upon my watch and chain;
I felt then I was once more rich, 
   And paid those little bills, 
And rented one bed-sitting room, 
   somewhere at Surrey Hills.

Then work I must, if I would live, but
   whence would that work come.
No one had any work to give—
   to me, a green “New chum.”
I realized how small my worth,
   since I was on my own,
But Oh! it’s good to buckle to,
   and fight one’s way alone.

A friend would often stand a drink,
   perhaps he’s pass a weed.
I lacked the courage just to say, 
   I’d rather have a feed.”
Yes, poverty may be no crime, but 
   when you’re stony broke, 
A cove would sooner have a feed, 
   than what ends up in smoke.

My first day’s work was on the quay,
   ballusting ships with rock,
But as I wasn’t a Union man, they 
   fired me from the dock. [page 29]
I drove a hansom round the town,
   but got the sack—which means
I drove too fast, and that old cab, 
   was smashed to smithereens.

Strange were the jobs I took in hand,
   in search of untold riches
From billiard marking, and I blush, 
   to even washing dishes.
I thought it was a damned disgrace,
   my hard ill-luck I cust,
But when the devil drive, you know, 
   why, then, of courses needs must. 

At last I met a bushman, who said 
   “Mate, come chuck the town,”
He scoffed at civilization, and was
   so hard and brown. 
And when he talked of shearing sheep,
   and working in the bush,
I knew I’d like him for a mate, so
   gave the town a push. 

A run by train, and then we’re on the 
   good old “Wallaby-track”
Tramping along in heat and dust, my 
   swag slung on my back, 
No putting up at grand hotels, or
   Scoffing six course feeds,
‘Twas mutton, damper, ‘bacca, tea,
   supplied our simple needs. [page 30]

How sound we slept by smouldering fire, 
   with bright stars overhead;
While fern still green, so sweet and fresh
   made such a nice soft bed. 
The laughing jack-ass early wakes,
   with peal of merry cries,
We saw the sky a roseate hue,
   and “Sol” in glory rise.

We steered a course for Logan’s run,
   way back on Emu plain; 
For shearing was just starting there,
   and work we could obtain. 
And as we neared the Homestead fence, 
   The sound of bleating rose
The bleat of many thousand sheep, of
   wethers, lambs, and yeos. 

Then started in to work next day, 
   among the wooly sheep,
With rations free, a place to sleep, 
   and thirty bob a week.
We plied our shears with bodies bent, 
   all day in heat and dust,
But money earned is dearly prized,
   when work one really must.

I thought that I would learn to shear, 
   the Boss though, he was deep,
It was the wool he wanted cut, and 
   not those ruddy sheep. [page 31]
And so ‘twas working in the shed, 
   and gathering up the fleeces
I had no chance to shear it seemed,
   or cut those sheep to pieces.

But Jim, my mate, knew how to shear,
   and earned his pound a day
When sheds closed down, we rolled up
   swags, and each received his pay.
The wise-ones started off for home,
   but some made off to town,
While some with cheques, went on the 
   drink, and quickly knocked them down. 

‘Twas at a roadside shanty, that my 
   mate went on a spree,
He met a pal, he’d known out West,
   who with his cash was free.
I tried my best to make him quit,
   but ‘till his cheque was blown, 
He’d stay there drinking, day by day, 
   so I went off alone.

To be with any drinking crowd,
   gives me a fit of blues,
For though I may have gone the pace,
   I never took to booze;
And so I humped my swag once more, 
   alone in search of work,
And cared not if I humped that swag, 
   right all the way to Bourke. [page 32]

At all the homesteads on my way,
   they welcomed me a night,
And made me feel that what they gave, 
   was really mine by right;
They’d load me up with rations, 
   and mind, it was all free,
I’d never want for any grub, though
   they'd no work for me.

At last I struck it on a Run, and
   helped erect a fence,
It kept me going at least five months, 
   and funds! they grew immense.
At splitting timber in the bush, 
   I worked for quite a year,
And when I travelled, take my word,
   a tramp I didn’t appear.

For now I owned and rode a horse, 
   and was no longer green;
I surely, too, was getting sense,
   and knew a fool I’d been. 
And then luck my way although, 
   I did not know it then
For just by chance I heard one day,
   a surveyor wanted men. 

Away I went to camp next day, and
   liked the Boss’ style,
So started in to work at once, and 
   later made a pile. [page 33]
That life was all a man could wish,
   it was a life of pleasure,
And thoughts of days spent in the bush,
   are memories to treasure.

Two years of hay days passed by, 
   and I was still content 
To save my cash, for in a camp, 
   no money need be spent. 
It was a glorious out-door life,
   so healthy and so free,
Our home was where we pitched the tent, 
   where-ever that might be. 

In running a new line of road, we
   crossed a rocky range,
Where quartz was found, and all about, 
   the country seemed to change,
And then we kept a sharp look-out,
   to spot that golden color,
And lucky finds, one reads about, 
   we told to one another. 

Sometimes we’d see the mica glint, and
   thought we had struck gold,
But at a touch it crumbled up, and 
   we were once more sold. 
Excitement though was very great,
   when gold was really found;
A settler struck it, and secured the first
   claim on the ground. [page 34]

Two mates and I prospected ‘round,
   and on the line of reef;
We staked a rich ten-acre claim, and
   took leave of our chief. 
Surveying then was of the past, 
   and I a working miner,
I felt that reef and I were wed, and 
   worked like any old-timer. 

Then everywhere a change took place, 
   the country once so quite, 
Seemed over-run with eager men,
   And all was rush and riot,
A town sprang up of tents and huts, and 
   some were roofed with tin. 
And still there came a stream of men,
   who'd fortunes yet to win.

The sly grog shanties, and the stores 
   all did a roaring trade,
And one would think the licens’ing laws,
   were really never made;
For those who struck it rich would drink,
   altho' no cares to drown
And some would keep there spirits up, 
   by pouring spirits down. 

Our shaft got deeper day by day—the
   reef was three feet wide,
Our assays too went very rich, and
   they were bona-fide. [page 35]
Yes, that ten-acre claim of ours, turned 
   out to be a wonder,
And many offers we turned down, 
   content the earth to plunder.

But when our shaft was fifty feet—
   in depth below the round;
We had an offer made which was
   for sixty thousand pound.
Now reefs you know sometimes run out, 
   and as we were not rash,
Without a blush each of us took
   a third of that in cash.

And then the homeland called to me,
   and bade me take a trip, 
And so I booked my passage on a 
   first-class home bound ship. 
The family should have me back, 
   And hear what I’d to tell,
I’d let them see my face again—the
   face of “Ne-er-do-well.”

But what a difference money makes, 
   my sins were all forgiven
They were so glad to shake my hand,
   yes, I was quickly shriven.
But cause I think of my success,
   If I must really own,
Was not so much my turn of luck,
   as leaving drink alone. [page 36]

‘Twas nice to see the dear old folks,
   and be again at home,
But soon the bush will call me back, 
   and I shall once more roam. 
May-be I’ll take and stock a run,
   of which I will be Boss,
And shear some sheep that are my own,
   under the Southern Cross.

[illustration]

[page 37]

 THE AUSTRALIAN SUNDOWNER

[illustration]

With his worldly belongings all slung on his back
     ‘Tis the Sundowner tramps at a leisurely gait
He is humping his swag on the rugged bush track
But with only a mongrel old dog for a mate.

No ambition in life—he lives but for the day
     He has never a thought nor a fear for the morrow;
With no rent, and no bills, and no taxes to pay,
     He has never a care, and he laughs away sorrow.

He has never a sigh, or remorse for the past
     As he journeys through life, satisfied, all alone;
Pitching camp every night, ‘till the times comes at last
When his last camping place is the veiled “Great Unknown.” [page 38]

GETTING HIS OWN BACK

(A New Zealand Episode of the early Eighties)

[illustration]

In the Forty-mile bush stood the Half-way house.
And ‘twas here Pat Maloney was Boss of the show;
It was here Brogden’s navvies, held wild carouse,
When their pay day arrived, and they’d wages to blow.

Pat had broken his arm in some scrimmage, or fight, 
When ejecting a drunken and troublesome guest
And with customers calling there day and night,
Pat would swear that he’d never a moment’s rest.

He was thinking and wondering whatever he’d do,
When there entered a swagman late one afternoon,
A Colonial oath, proved that the stranger he knew,
As a very old pal—one Micky Muldoon.

Now, Muldoon could serve drinks in a bar first-rate,
And being very hard-up, and right down on his luck
He was only too glad to assist his old mate
So right quickly a very fair bargain they struck. [page 39]

‘Twas then Mickey looked after the bar and the booze
While Maloney lay by and just rested at ease,
He would loaf round about, and hear all the news.
And Muldoon in the bar could just do as he’d please.

Now, the customers liked to see Micky Muldoon
And the trade soon increased, and more cash rolled in
He could sing a good song, also play a good tune,
On the banjo, a flute, or an old violin

Then a year or more passed, and time sped along,
But thought Pat, “why the takings appear very small,”
He was troubled to think there was anything wrong,
So tried to think nothing was wrong at all.

But Maloney grew restless, and wanted a change; 
For he’d got what is known as the “Wanderlust”
So determined he’d try, and perhaps would arrange, 
To get rid of his pub—get away he must.

Then ‘tis said that what happened was really most funny,
For the news, all at once, was spread round about, 
That Muldoon was the heir to his Aunt Bridget’s money,
And that Micky had bought Pat Maloney right out. [page 40]

So then Pat to his pub, and his pals, said, “good-bye”
And went off to the gold rush at Coramandel,
Though he felt he was certainly done in the eye,
He’d no wish to create, or to make any scandal. 

Pat arrived at the diggings, bought in to a claim, 
And he hoped very soon to be making his pile, 
He had worked as a miner, was used to the game,
And his funds ought to last him a very long while. 

But it seems that Maloney was down on his luck
For his claim when he worked it proved really a duffer
As no gold could be found when the reef they had struck
And the loss of his cash was indeed hard to suffer. 

But he worked then on wages for two weary years
Though his money was gone, yet he tried in vain
To recoup his past loss, but at last it appears, 
He went off on the “Wallaby-track” again.

And they say the he left his heart behind
For he’d fallen in love with a barmaid, named Kate.
But he hoped that some day to return, and to find, 
She would enter the matrimonial state. [page 41]

So he started off back to the Forty-mile bush
But he heard on the way what caused him to fidget,
Yes, the Railway was going on ahead with a push,
But Muldoon never had any Aunt named Bridget.

Then he knew his old pal had swindled him bad,
But he smiled to himself and did not complain,
He considered Muldoon had behaved like a cad 
And determined to get back his own again. 

At the “Half-way” all dusty, there stood at the door,
A much travelled man, who said, “Mick, I’m back stony,”
When the stranger had thrown his swag on the floor,
Mickey knew ‘twas his old pal—Maloney.
Pat was greeted by Mick in the best of bush style,
Who must find him some sort of a billet—he thinks, 
So he set him to work in the bar for awhile,
Washing glasses and serving the customers drinks.

Yes, Maloney was back, in the old bar again
And the customers called in the same as of old,
For they wanted to know, and to hear him explain, 
How it was the he never had struck any gold. 

Then Muldoon who was lazy gave way to the booze, 
But Maloney worked hard and it was not in vain
For he always could do what ever he’d choose,
And “his own” he determined to get back again. [page 42]

In a short spact of time, once again it’s funny,
How the news was spread quickly all round about,
“That Maloney was heir to his “Uncle Mike’s money,”
And that Pat had bought Mickey Muldoon right out. 

So now Kate runs the bar, and there’s no more fake, 
For they’ve entered the bonds of Matri-mo-ny
And if any small pickings there are to take, 
They’ll be taken by Mrs. Kate Ma-lo-ney.

[illustration]

[page 43]

 THE DINGO

[illustration]

‘Tis the dingo’s howl, in the pale moonlight;
Like the moaning wind on a stormy night;
Over hill, and o’er gully, that weird eerie cry
Is a warning to sheep that a danger is nigh.

Startled! they stand, then jump, and race away;
Hunted by one who is eager to slay,
Snapping, tearing, in their blood he revels
“Sport!” for a dingo, is sport for devils. 

But the shades of his victims, now so grim,
Have recorded his crimes, and beckon him;
Outlawed, and wanted, if only his head,
His account is settled, and paid in lead.

[illustration]

[page 44]

MY TRAVELS

[illustration]

In Australia happy years I’ve spent
   In land of Emu, and Kangaroo,
In land of plenty and content
   Where wattle and the blue gum grew.

‘Twas home of quatter and pioneer,
   Where England’s sons so brave and bold,
Would risk their lives, and know no fear,
   When seeking fortune, riches, and gold.

In Maori-land such scenic charm
   Once seen is always held most dear,
Volcanic shocks cause much alarm
   And warns us Nature’s wrath to fear.

There, “Warrior Chiefs” for country fought,
   And bravely kept the foe at bay.
Their land they held, unless ‘twas bought,
   And dearly England had to pay.

Samoa, Honolulu, call me back
   Oh, Isles of Southern Seas your charms
Would bid me leave the beaten track
   And hasten to your outstretched arms. [page 45]

Tasmania’s rugged hills I’ve climbed,
   Hills rich with gold and copper ore.
‘Twas there once wretched convicts pined
   In fettered chains that are no more.

For convicts now are never seen;
   On cultured valleys, rich with vine,
O’er prosperous homesteads, pastures green,
   The snow-capped mountains proudly shine.

If a trip you want in “Wonderland”
   Go see the States from East to West,
There, Uncle Sam will take your hand, 
   And give you welcome of the best.

From every Nation there you’ll find
   Men grabbing all that they can collar,
What most they seem to have in mind
   Is piling up the mighty dollar.

Brazil is hot as down below
   And eight degrees beyond the line
A white man seemed to have no show
   (To live there was no wish of mine).

They’ll put one off from day to day,
   In most things being so very lax;
They like to make the stranger pay
   And seem to live on those they tax. [page 46]

Great Canada, so loyal and true,
   Whose roads of steel from East to West,
Show all what enterprise will do,
   And yield us produce of the best.

Her sons for Empire nobly bled,
   And sealed a friendship naught can sever,
While spirits of her gallant dead,
   Still sing, ”The Maple Leaf for Ever.”

I hail once more the land of my birth;
   In all my travels none better I find.
Old England, now I know your worth;
   Though some may leave you—I stay behind.

[illustration]

[page 47]

MY SENTIMENTS

(True, if not creditable)

[illustration]

Ah, where’s the gold that once I squandered
   In happy days gone by
When o’er the world I gaily wandered 
   With never a care or sigh.

Though getting old and short of cash,
   My thoughts so far away,
Bring memories—that in a flash,
   Seem those of yesterday.

But pleasant thoughts they are to me;
   Once more the camp fire gleams,
And old familiar scenes I see;
   Alas; they are but dreams.

If I’d those days to live again, 
   Would I store up my gold?
Ah, no—to try, would be in vain
   I’d “bust” it as of old.

[illustration]

[page 48]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration]

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