Poems by Andrew Barton Paterson

also known as: Banjo Paterson

Sorted by title, showing title and first line

Long ago the Gladiators,
The long day passes with its load of sorrow:
It was over at Coolgardie that a mining speculator,
Australia takes her pen in hand
The railway rattled and roared and swung
Roses ruddy and roses white,
On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
When Ironbark the turtle came to Anthony's lagoon
I'm traveling down the Castlereagh, and I'm a station-hand,
Now the new chum loaded his three-nought-three,
You see, the thing was this way, there was me,
In Doggerel Verse
Bring me a quart of colonial beer
Oh, it's dreadful to think in a country like this
Into her presence he gaily pranced,
I bought a run a while ago
Dark over the face of Nature sublime!
We read in the press that Lord Northcote is here
Come all ye bold trainers attend to my song,
There is a waving of grass in the breeze
Not for the love of women toil we, we of the craft,
(Air: “Ten Thousand Miles Away.”)
Of all the sickly forms of verse,
I thought, in the days of the droving,
The sun strikes down with a blinding glare;
I am the maid of the lustrous eyes
Well, I've waited mighty patient while they all came rolling in,
West of Dubbo the west begins
It was while we held our races,
On Western plains, where shade is not,
(Air: “Little Low Log Cabin in the Lane.”)
Out in the wastes of the West countrie,
All of us play our very best game,
"Will you love me, sweet, when my hair is grey
There's a sunny Southern land,
They came from the lower levels
The Mountains
There came a stranger to Walgett town,
The actor struts his little hour,
If you walk in the bush at night,
When I was at home I was down on my luck,
No soft-skinned Durham steers are they,
As I lie at rest on a patch of clover
In Dublin town I was brought up, in that city of great fame—
We've travelled per Joe Gardiner, a humping of our swag
I ain't the kind of bloke as takes to any steady job;
Lonely and sadly one night in November
Shadows of the twilight falling
It lies beyond the Western Pines
Out where the grey streams glide,
Far to the Northward there lies a land,
Beside the bare and beaten track of travelling flocks and herds
Here lies a bloke who's just gone West,
I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
[By A New Chum]
As I pondered very weary o'er a volume long and dreary,
Our hero was a Tommy with a conscience free from care,
This was the way of it, don't you know,
The daylight is dying
Do they know? At the turn to the straight
'Twas Driver Smith of Battery A was anxious to see a fight;
Dwell, not with me,
And wherefore have they come, this warlike band,
'Twas the horse thief, Andy Regan, that was hunted like a dog
I ain't a timid man at all, I'm just as brave as most,
I’ve shore at Burrabogie, and I’ve shore at Toganmain,
On the rugged water shed
The chorus frogs in the big lagoon
Scene: On Monaro.
The emus formed a football team
Oh, Mr Gilhooley he turned up his toes,
To the voters of Glen Innes 'twas O'Sullivan that went,
I left the course, and by my side
The grey gull sat on a floating whale,
(Air: “Bow, Wow, Wow.”)
"You come and see me, boys," he said;
'Twas the dingo pup to his dam that said,
There's never a stone at the sleeper's head,
Let us cease our idle chatter,
"Aye," said the boozer, "I tell you it's true, sir,
[Mr. Jordan was sent to England by the Queensland Government in 1858, 1859, and 1860 to lecture on the advantages of immigration, and told the most extraordinary tales about the place.]
So you're back from up the country, Mister Lawson, where you went,
We see it each day in the paper,
"Only a pound," said the auctioneer,
What! you don't like him; well, maybe, we all have our fancies, of course:
'Twas in scientific circles
It's grand to be a squatter
(As sung by the camp fire.)
Born of a thoroughbred English race,
A Political Ballad by our Bolshevik Bard
(Air: “Wearing of the Green.”)
There's a soldier that's been doing of his share
[He and his gang stuck up the township of Canowindra for two days in 1859.]
Men fight all shapes and sizes as the racing horses run,
Down along the Snakebite River where the overlanders camp,
Oh, the new-chum went to the backblock run,
"He ought to be home," said the old man, "without there's something amiss.
A Tragedy as Played at Ryde**
Morgan the drover explained,
In this war we're always moving,
'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze;
'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze;
Oh, Mulligan's bar was the deuce of a place
(Air: “So Early in the Morning.”)
That’s his saddle on the tie-beam,
Let Romanists all at the Confessional kneel,
The new chum's polo pony was the smartest pony yet,
Now listen to me and I'll tell you my views concerning the African war,
The London lights are far abeam
Far from the trouble and toil of town,
You never heard tell of the story?
Awake, of Muse, the echoes of a day
The roving breezes come and go
Oh, we started down from Roto when the sheds had all cut out.
Oh, the weary, weary journey on the trek, day after day,
Out in the grey cheerless chill of the morning light,
The opening of the railway line…
It came from the prison this morning,
The boys had come back from the races
They mustered us up with a royal din,
They held a polo meeting at a little country town,
Little bush maiden, wondering-eyed,
Och! my name’s Pat Malone, and I’m from Tipperary.
I’ve had all sorts of luck, sometimes bad, sometimes better,
They came of bold and roving stock that would not fixed abide;
Air: "Widow McGrath"
I have gathered these stories afar
So, the bank has bust it's boiler! And in six or seven year
There's some that ride the Robbo style, and bump at every stride;
"Where 'ave you been this week or more,
Now this was what Macpherson told
(Air: “Belle Mahone.”)
Now is the law of the Overland that all in the West obey,
Come all you little rouseabouts and climb upon my knee;
'Twas Saltbush Bill, with his traveling sheep, was making his way to town;
The news came down on the Castlereagh, and went to the world at large,
Beyond the land where Leichhardt went,
(Air: “Ben Bolt.”)
"Halt! Who goes there?" the sentry's call
It chanced out back at the Christmas time,
An Unpublished Drama
The bell is set a-ringing, and the engine gives a toot,
The track that led to Carmody's is choked and overgrown,
Now the stock have started dying, for the Lord has sent a drought;
As the nations sat together, grimly waiting,
'Tis strange that in a land so strong
[The subjoined is one of the “Songs of the Squatters,” written by the Hon. Robert Lowe (afterwards Viscount Sherbrooke), while resident in New South Wales.]
We have sung the song of the droving days,
We often hear men boast about the land which gave them birth,
Grey dawn on the sand-hills, the night wind has drifted
Said the soldier to the Surgeon, "I've got noises in me head
Of course they say if this Bobadil starts
Across the Queensland border line
Oh! the circus swooped down
A Tale of the Territory
'Twas in the days of front attack;
He came from "further out",
Him goin' to ride for us! Him, with the pants and the eyeglass and all.
An angel stood beside the bed
The big white English swan, escaped from captivity, found himself swimming in an Australian waterhole fringed with giant gum trees. In one of the lower forks of a gum tree sat a placid ound-eyed elderly gentleman apparently thinking of nothing whatev
Oh the airman's game is a showman's game, for we all of us watch him go
The sun peers o’er you wooded ridge and thro’ the forest dense,
Of all the docks upon the blue
This is the story of G.R.D.,
The Honourable M. T. Nutt
The shades of night had fallen at last,
By the far Samoan shore,
"The political season being upon us, the following ballad may be appropriate."
All you on emigration bent,
Come all ye lads of the droving days, ye gentlemen unafraid,
Did you ever hear tell of Chili? I was readin' the other day
(Air: “It’s a fine hunting day.”)
'Twas on the famous Empire run,
(Air: “Wearing of the Green.”)
The stranger came from Narromine and made his little joke--
I dreamt a dream at the midnight deep,
This is the dam that Keele built.
Chris Watson, of the Parliament,
The daylight is dying
It was the lunatic poet escaped from the local asylum,
Bristling Billy the porcupine,
Oh, some folk think vice-royalty is festive and hilarious,
(Air: “The Old Stable Jacket.”)
There’s a happy little valley on the Eumerella shore,
Now 'urry, Mrs New South Wales, and come along of us,
"The opening of the railway line!, the Governor and all!
With Apologies to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ("The Village Blacksmith")
I served my time, in the days gone by,
(A Song of 1861.)
(Air: “The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane.”)
It was somewhere up the country, in a land of rock and scrub,
My horse had been lamed in the foot
MacFierce'un came to Whiskeyhurst
Oh, there's some that breeds the Devon that's as solid as a stone,
A man once read with mind surprised
Scene: Federal Political Arena
With never a sound of trumpet,
"You led the trump," the old man said
We're away! and the wind whistles shrewd
A club there is established here, whose name they say is Legion
I had spent the night in the watch-house,
Another search for Leichhard's tomb,
The Honorable Ardleigh Wyse
I
It was the man from Ironbark who struck the Sydney town,
There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
The widow sought the lawyer's room with children three in tow,
In distant New Zealand, whose tresses of gold
The Maoris are a mighty race, the finest ever known;
(Air: “Little Sally Waters.”)
I wooed her with a steeplechase, I won her with a fall,
Here in my mountain home,
Come, all you jolly natives, and I’ll relate to you
By the winding Wollondilly where the weeping willows weep,
The London lights are far abeam
Oh, my name is Bob the Swagman, before you all I stand,
Oh! the shearing is all over,
My name is old Jack Palmer,
Our money’s all spent, to the deuce went it!
The sheep were shorn and the wool went down
In the good old days when the Army's ways were simple and unrefined,
I had ridden over hurdles up the country once or twice,
There’s a trade you all know well—
There's nothing here sublime,
"I'll introduce a friend!" he said,
Kanzo Makame, the diver, sturdy and small Japanee,
A land, as far as the eye can see, where the waving grasses grow
I have come to tell you of the glorious news you’ll all be glad to bear,
The Premier and the Socialist
I say 'e isn't Remorse!
O west of all that a man holds dear, on the edge of the Kingdom Come,
Trumpets of the Lancer Corps
I'd reckon his weight as eight-stun-eight,
Pro Bono Publico
The mountain road goes up and down
Now look, you see, it's this way like,
The fields of youth are filled with flowers,
Come all ye bold trainers attend to my song,
Now ye gallant Sydney boys, who have left your household joys
Our fathers, brave men were and strong,
We have all of us read how the Israelites fled
The Scorcher and the Howling Swell were riding through the land;
With eyes that searched in the dark,
Parliament's a stage,
(Air: “The Bonnie Irish Boy.”)
(Air: “She Wore a Wreath of Roses.”)
Weary and listless, sad and slow,
(Air: “A fine old English gentleman.”)
Come, all ye lads an’ list to me,
(Air: “A wet sheet and a flowing sea.”)
Be ye stockmen or no, to my story give ear.
The stockmen of Australia, what rowdy boys are they,
This is the story the stockman told
I’m a broken-hearted miner, who loves his cup to drain,
Kind friends, pray give attention
We buried old Bob where the bloodwoods wave
The roving breezes come and go, the reed beds sweep pand sway,
It was shearing time at the Myall Lake,
You often have been told of regiments brave and bold,
Wargeilah town is very small,
Ow can it rain.' the old man said, 'with things the way they are?
’Tis of a wild Colonial boy, Jack Doolan was his name,
There came a whisper down the Bland between the dawn and dark,
It was the Bondi golfing man
When you're lying in your hammock, sleeping soft and sleeping sound,
The shearers sat in the firelight, hearty and hale and strong,
Who never drinks and never bets,
You talk of riders on the flat, of nerve and pluck and pace,
I
The Editor wrote his political screed
My Uncle Bill! My Uncle Bill!
This is the place where they all were bred;
(Air: “The Mistletoe Bough.”)
Oh! there once was a swagman camped in a Billabong,
The strongest creature for his size
What have the cavalry done?
'Twas to a small, up-country town,
Now the autumn maize is growing,
Why, oh why was Kater lifted
The Boastful Crow and the Laughing Jack
My son, if you go to the races to battle with Ikey and Mo,
The Boers were down on Kimberley with siege and Maxim gun;
The Boers were down on Kimberley with siege and Maxim gun;
The drought is down on field and flock,
The drought is down on field and flock,

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