by Tricia McGill
Wednesday, November 05, 2003
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A poem about an Australian icon--The Stockman. A man who was born to wander this vast land.
The bush and plains are the stockman's home.
The pine clad mountains and valleys to roam.
His hat rests low on his proud set head
And covers his hair of the brightest red.
His dog lopes close by his horse's side,
and the pair never tire through a long day's ride.
Old Irish has dreamed since he was a lad
of riding all day across this wide land.
His mother and father had both been rovers.
His dad was a man well known by the drovers.
They'd died up along the Murray's side.
And were buried near that great river so wide.
Irish knows well how to laugh and cry.
To share life's sorrows neath God's clear blue sky.
He knows all there is about herding cows.
About riding all day when the wind just howls.
Once on a trek though the great desert land,
he almost got lost as for gold he panned.
Old Irish has been where black parrots fly
where the mulga and scrub reach well past the thigh.
Past rivers so dry that the cracks split the earth,
and no one can say what the red land is worth.
He's been where the roos jump high in the air
where wallabies roam over land green and fair.
He thought once of settling, of taking a wife,
but decided with forethought that wasn't the life.
No drover would fit in a life in the city,
to leave all this space would be more than a pity.
In a place like Sydney or Melbourne or Darwin
where the people all flock and there's plenty of sin.
No woman in town would put up with his roving,
This need to be moving, and constantly going.
To the back blocks and wide open plains
far away from the city and shops and the trains.
There's no female around who'd put up with the hide
of a man who yearns to be free to ride.
The man who knows joy in a good horse beneath you,
a dog for a pal and restrictions so few.
The hard times and good times, the dust and the heat,
where no man gives in to a thing like defeat.
The bush folk have ways that the townsfolk don't know.
They'll greet you with pleasure and then let you go.
To wander the wide open plains that you love,
where at night all the stars fairly blaze up above.
On a night when the air is crystal clear,
you'll sit 'neath a sky where the stars seem so near
you can reach out and touch them in the frosty sky
and be closer to God than you'll be when you die.
A stockman knows all about drought, dust and heat,
but in his way of life he'll never put up with defeat.
His life's filled with pleasures no town man would know.
Old Irish is off where the wanderers go.
Tricia McGill Romance Author