As Stock Go By


CLASSIC BUSH VERSE – HARD YAKKA

When Stock Go By

HARRY THE BREAKER MORANT

‘The Breaker’ must have been in a reflective mood when he penned this poem. It is chock-full of the imagery of a bushman observing silently, thinking of days gone by, and one can almost hear the shuffling of hooves.

Ah me! How clearly they come back –
Those golden days of long ago,
When down the droughty Bogan track
Tom came with stock from Ivanhoe.

The cattle passed our hometead gate,
Beside our well I watched them pass,
While Dad was in a fearful state
About his water and his grass.

Tom rode a bonny dark haired nagg;
He wore a battered cabbage-tree;
And as I filled our water-bag,
He came and asked a drink from me.

Tom said that drink was just like wine;
He said my eyes were soft and brown;
He said there were no eyes like mine
From Dandaloo to Sydney Town.

I watched him with a trembling lip,
Yet little thought I then that he
Who asked a drink from me that trip,
Would next trip ask my Dad for me!

Tom’s droving days long since are done;
The wet tear oft has dimmed his eye;
For days when I was wood and won
Come back to me – when stock go by.