On the Boundary

Barcroft Boake

I LOVE the ancient boundary-fence,
    That mouldering chock-and-log.
When I go ride the boundary
    I let the old horse jog
And take his pleasure in and out
    Where the sandalwood grows dense,
And tender pines clasp hands across
    The log that tops the fence.

’Tis pleasant on the boundary-fence,
    These sultry summer days;
A mile away, outside the scrub,
    The plain is all ablaze,
The sheep are panting on the camps,
    The heat is so intense;
But here the shade is cool and sweet
    Along the boundary-fence.

I love to loaf along the fence,
    So does my collie dog,
He often finds a spotted cat
    Hid in a hollow log;
He’s very near as old as I
    And ought to have more sense,
I’ve hammered him so many times
    Along the boundary-fence.

My mother says that boundary fence
    Must surely be bewitched;
The old man says that through that fence
    The neighbours are enriched;
It’s always down, and through the gaps
    Our stock all get them hence,
I takes me half my time to watch
    The doings of that fence.

But should you seek the reason
    You won’t travel very far,
’Tis there a mile away among
    The murmuring Belar:
The Jones’s block joins on to ours,
    And so, in consequence,
It’s part of Polly’s work to ride
    Their side the boundary-fence.


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