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The Ballad of the Drover

Mar. — 1889
Henry Lawson

ACROSS the stony ridges,Across the rolling plain,

Young Harry Dale, the drover,
Comes riding home again.
And well his stock-horse bears him,
And light of heart is he,
And stoutly his old pack-horse
Is trotting by his knee.
Up Queensland way with cattle
He travelled regions vast;
And many months have vanished
Since home-folk saw him last.
He hums a song of someone
He hopes to marry soon;
And hobble-chains and camp-ware
Keep jingling to the tune.

Beyond the hazy dado
Against the lower skies
And yon blue line of ranges
The homestead station lies.
And thitherward the drover
Jogs through the lazy noon,
While hobble-chains and camp-ware
Are jingling to a tune.

An hour has filled the heavens
With storm-clouds inky black;
At times the lightning trickles
Around the drover’s track;
But Harry pushes onward,
His horses’ strength he tries,
In hope to reach the river
Before the flood shall rise.

The thunder from above him
Goes rolling o’er the plain;
And down on thirsty pastures
In torrents falls the rain.
And every creek and gully
Sends forth its little flood,
Till the river runs a banker,
All stained with yellow mud.

Now Harry speaks to Rover,
The best dog on the plains,
And to his hardy horses,
And strokes their shaggy manes;
‘We’ve breasted bigger rivers
When floods were at their height
Nor shall this gutter stop us
From getting home to-night!’

The thunder growls a warning,
The ghastly lightnings gleam,
As the drover turns his horses
To swim the fatal stream.
But, oh! the flood runs stronger
Than e’er it ran before;
The saddle-horse is failing,
And only half-way o’er!

When flashes next the lightning,
The flood’s grey breast is blank,
And a cattle dog and pack-horse
Are struggling up the bank.
But in the lonely homestead
The girl will wait in vain —
He’ll never pass the stations
In charge of stock again.

The faithful dog a moment
Sits panting on the bank,
And then swims through the current
To where his master sank.
And round and round in circles
He fights with failing strength,
Till, borne down by the waters,
The old dog sinks at length.

Across the flooded lowlands
And slopes of sodden loam
The pack-horse struggles onward,
To take dumb tidings home.
And mud-stained, wet, and weary,
Through ranges dark goes he;
While hobble-chains and tinware
Are sounding eerily.

. . . . .

The floods are in the ocean,
The stream is clear again,
And now a verdant carpet
Is stretched across the plain.
But someone’s eyes are saddened,
And someone’s heart still bleeds
In sorrow for the drover
Who sleeps among the reeds.

Werribee Heritage Day 2010

Comments

  • Jenny Dean
    Jenny Deanalmost 5 years ago

    cor blimey K this is great :))

  • Thanks Jenny, I am going through my outback stage, purely because I love Henry Lawson poems lol

    – Kathryn Potempski

  • Carla Maloco
    Carla Malocoalmost 5 years ago

    Wonderful portrait of Drover and horse.

  • Thanks Carla

    – Kathryn Potempski

  • Steven  Agius
    Steven Agiusalmost 5 years ago

    Excellent portrait !

  • Thanks Steven

    – Kathryn Potempski

  • Judi Corrigan
    Judi Corriganalmost 5 years ago

    Great treatment of this shot Kathryn.

  • Thank you Judy, I am pleased with one.

    – Kathryn Potempski

  • Royald
    Royaldalmost 5 years ago

  • wow, now I do have a giant smile from ear to ear Diane thank you so much what a wonderful surprise:-))))

    – Kathryn Potempski

  • Lyn  Thomsen
    Lyn Thomsenalmost 5 years ago

    Beautiful portrait shot, wonderful treatment , really fantastic, and thank you for the poem , one of Henry Lawsons greats, love it.

  • © Kira Bodensted
    © Kira Bodenstedover 4 years ago


    Sep 9th 2010
    MEN

  • Kathryn Potempski
    Kathryn Potempskiover 4 years ago

    Kira I am so please you featured this portrait it is a personal fav of mine thank you.

  • Barssel
    Barsselover 3 years ago

  • wow thanks to all who voted I am stocked .

    – Kathryn Potempski

  • pat gamwell
    pat gamwellover 3 years ago

    6-20-11

    CONGRATULATIONS!

    PERMANENT FEATURE PAGE

    PLEASE ENTER THIS IMAGE INTO OUR GRUNGE IT UP JUNE 20TH CHALLENGE ….Thank you & Good Luck!

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