For Australia

Bush Hay

Henry Lawson

THE STAMP of Scotland is on his face,
    But he sailed to the South a lad,
And he does not think of the black bleak hills
    And the bitter hard youth he had;
He thinks of a nearer and dearer past
    In the bright land far away,
When the teams went up and the teams came down,
    In the days when they made bush hay.

The fare was rough and the bush was grim
    In the “years of his pilgrimage”,
But he gained the strength that is still with him
    In his hale, late middle age.
He thinks of the girl at the halfway inn
    They use as a barn to-day—
Oh, she was a dumpling and he was thin
    In the days when they made bush hay.

The ration teams to the Bathurst Plains
    Were often a fortnight full.
And they branched all ways in the early days
    And back to the port with wool.
They watched for the lights of old Cobb & Co.
    That flashed to the West away,
When drivers drove six on a twelve-mile stage
    In the days when they made bush hay.

He has made enough, and he’s sold his claim,
    And he goes by the morning train,
From the gold-field town in the sultry West
    To his home by the sea again,
Where a bustling old body’s expecting him
    Whose hair is scarcely grey,
And she was the girl of the halfway house
    In the days when they made bush hay.

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