Licence Hunting




The morning’ was fine,
The sun brightly did shine;
The diggers were working away —
When the inspector of traps
Said, “now my fine chaps,
We’ll go licence hunting today”,
Some went this way; some that,
Some to Bendigo Flat;
And a lot to the White Hills did tramp —
Whilst a lot more did bear,
Towards Golden Square:
And the rest of them kept round the camp

Each turned his eye
To the holes he went by —
Expecting down on them to drop;
But not one could they nail,
For they’d given leg bail,
Diggers ain’t often caught on the hop.
The little word “Joe”,
Which all of you know,
Is a signal that the traps are quite near;
Made them all cut their sticks,
And they hooked it like bricks ;
“I believe you, my boy — no fear.”

Now a tall ugly trap,
Espied a young chap,
Up the gully cutting like fun;
So he quickly gave chase,
But ’twas a hard race —
I assure you the digger could run.
Down a hole he went pop,
Whilst the bobby up top,
Says, “just come up”, shaking his staff:
“Young man of the crown,
If you want me come down ;
For I’m not to be caught with such chaff.”

Now, some would have thought,
The sly fox he’d have caught,
By lugging him out of the hole;
But this cruster, no fear,
Quite scorned the idea
Of going underground like a mole.
But wiser by half,
He put by his staff,
And as onward he went said he —
“When a cove’s down a ‘drive’,
Whether dead or alive,
He may stay there till Christmas for me!”

Charles Thatcher, Colonial Minstrel