station life view
Tune: Rory O’More
SOURCE:Quoted in ‘Australian Capers’ (Old Boomerang) 1867. London.
SITE SOURCE: Bush Life
SONG OF THE AUSTRALIAN SQUATTER
While senators make the Macquarie Street halls
Resound with their eloquence shallow or deep.
O’erjoy’d to escape from political thralls
In peace I’ll stay at home, and look after my sheep.
While solemn savants of the bench and the bar,
In black bombazine and white-poodle wigs,
With helpers more snappish than dingoes by far,
Are melting out justice to squabblers and ‘prigs’.
While bankers and merchants and brokers and scribes,
(A multitude more than five frigates could hold),
With brewers, distillers, and victualling tribes,
Are delving like diggers for nuggets of gold.
While doctors and surgeons, and brave volunteers,
Stand ready and willing to kill or to cure;
And characters, sharper than sickles or shears,
Are groping for garbage like rats in a sewer.
I placidly smile, though they simper or frown;
I’ve comfort by day, and at night soundly sleep.
A fig for the honours or gains of the town!
I’d rather be home. Looking after my sheep.
Who cares for the weight of your carcass or fleece,
Your mutton or wool, except butchers and weavers?
Pshw! Rather than study such fellows to please,
I’d see them all pelted with shuttles and cleavers.
Your ‘jumbucks’ will gambol and nibble their feed,
Grow fleshy and woolly, though lacking your care.
Hie hence from the bush, for the country’s in need
Of the talent you’re wasting on wilderness air.
You ask me who cares for my mutton and fleece?
(O ghost of MacArthur please to howl in his ears)
Such questions might grieve my fat wethers to grease,
Or melt Mac’s bronze bust, if he had one, to tears.
Those wool-ships now afloat at your quays,
With scarce room on board for a cockroach to creep,
Would seldom indeed meet your cynical gaze,
If squatters left home, and neglected their sheep.
Don’t boast of your export of gold dust to me,
(To say I despise it would stamp me a fool)
John Bull doubtless pockets your bullion with glee,
But what would he do if we grudged him our wool?
If care will improve both my carcass and fleece
In weight, Mister Cynic, and quality too,
And meanwhile I add my comfort and peace,
I will stay in the bush, though it irritate you.