The sun may shine, the rain may fall,
And the world roll round about, -
The king's men and king's horses all
Can never rub one thing out.
Skies may darken - clouds will flit -
Troubles may gather and go:
For my sweetheart loves me "just a bit!
And, oh! I love her so.
The vapour vanishes in the sun!
So pass cures, doubts, and pains -
For I'm "loved a bit" by the dearest one,
And the best the world contains.
Some Other Somebody
Somebody's horse has finished his feed,
Somebody's saddle is on;
But never a nigger the tracks can read,
Or know where Somebody's gone.
Over the rails and up the creek,
As soon as the sun goes down:
How is it every night this week
That Somebody's off to town?
Grass is dewy, and overhead
Evening stars are bright;
And startled wallabies hear the tread
Of galloping hoofs at night.
Through the scrub and over the plain
Somebody's galloping fast;
Never a pull on the bridle rein
Till the town lights show at last.
Somebody's horse has whips o' work -
Whips o' work of late -
Since Somebody's brown was seen in town
Tied to Somebody's gate.
But the wherefore why Somebody rides,
And the track that the brown horse goes,
Only his rider (and one besides:
Some other Somebody) knows!
When The Light Is As Darkness
The morning-tide is fair and bright,
With golden sun up-springing;
The cedars glowed in the new-born light,
And the bell-bird's note was ringing;
While diamonds dropped by dusky Night,
Were yet to the gidyas clinging.
The morning waned - the sun rose high
O'erhead, until 'twas seeming
But a dazzling disc, and the fiery sky
Like an opal sea was gleaming;
And languorous flowers - of morn gone by,
And coming eve - fell dreaming.
And now the moon above does creep
To laugh at red Sol sinking;
While wakening from their sunlit sleep,
A few wan stars are blinking,
And thirsty, drooping flowers deep
Of evening dews are drinking.
The birds will soon their carols cease,
And crows are homeward hieing;
The gloaming deepens, stars increase,
The weary day is dying -
Its requiem, murmurous of peace,
The vesper winds are, sighing.
This night is near! Are you waiting friend,
That Night? - we're drawing nigh it -
When we to the Restful Land shall wend,
And leave life's feverish riot -
When the gods to each tired soul shall send
Eternal, dreamless quiet.
At The River-Crossing
Oh! the quiet river-crossing
Where we twain were wont to ride,
Where the wanton winds were to sing
Willow branches o'er the tide.
There the golden noon would find us
Dallying through the summer day,
All the waery world behind us -
All it's tumult far away.
Oh! thoe rides across the crossing
Where the shallow stream runs wide,
When the sunset's beams were glossing
Strips of sand on either side.
We would cross the sparkling river
On the brown horse and the bay;
Watch the willows sway and shiver
And their trembling shadows play.
When the opal tints waxed duller
And a gray crept o'er the skies
Yet there stayed the blue sky's color
In your dreamy dark-blue eyes.
How the sun-god's bright caresses,
When we rode at sunet there,
Plaited among your braided tresses,
Gleaming on your silky hair.
When the last sunlight's glory
Faded off the sandy bars,
There we learnt the old, old story,
Riding homeward 'neat the stars.
'Tis a memory to be hoarded -
Oh, the follish tale and fond!
Till another stream be forded -
And we reach the Great Beyond.
West By North Again
We've drunk our wine, we've kissed our girls, and funds are sinking low,
The horses must be thinking it's a fair thing now to go;
Sling the swags on Condamine and strap the billies fast,
And stuff a bottle in the bags and let's be off at last.
What matter if the creeks are up - the cash, alas, runs down!
A very sure and certain sign we're long enough in town.
The black fella rides the boko, and you'd better take the bay,
Quart Pot will do to carry me the stage we go today.
No grass this side the Border fence! and all the mulga's dead!
The horses for a day or two will have to spiel ahead;
Man never yet from Queensland brought a bullock or a back
But lost condition on that God-abandoned Border track.
When once we're through the rabbit-proof - it's certain since the rain -
There's whips o' grass and water, so, it's West by North again!
There's feed on Tyson's country - we can "spell" the mokes a week
Where Billy Stevens last year trapped his brumbies on Bough Creek.
The Paroo may be quickly crossed - the Eulo Common's bare;
And, anyhow, it isn't wise, old man! to dally there.
Alack-a-day! far wiser men than you and I succumb
To woman's wiles, and potency of Queensland wayside rum.
Then over sand and spinifex and on, o'er ridge and plain!
The nags are fresh - besides, they know they're westward-bound again.
The brand upon old Darkie's thigh is that upon the hide
Of bullocks we must muster on the Diamantina side.
We'll light our camp-fires where we may, and yarn beside their blaze;
The jingling hobble-chains shall make a music through the days.
And while the tucker-bags are right, and we've a stick of weed,
A swagman shall be welcome to a pipe-full and a feed.
So, fill your pipe! and, ere we mount, we'll drink another nip -
Here's how that West by North again may prove a lucky trip;
Then back again - I trust you'll find your best girl's merry face,
Or, if she jilts you, may you get a better in her place.