Shearing With A Hoe

A poem by Andrew Barton Paterson

The track that led to Carmody's is choked and overgrown,
The suckers of the stringybark have made the place their own;
The mountain rains have cut the track that once we used to know
When first we rode to Carmody's, a score of years ago.

The shearing shed at Carmody's was slab and stringybark,
The press was just a lever beam, invented in the Ark;
But Mrs Carmody was cook, and shearers' hearts would glow
With praise of grub at Carmody's, a score of years ago.

At shearing time no penners-up would curse their fate and weep,
For Fragrant Fred, the billy-goat, was trained to lead the sheep;
And racing down the rattling chutes the bleating mob would go
Behind their horned man from Cook's, a score of years ago.

An owner of the olden time, his patriarchal shed
Was innocent of all machines or gadgets overhead:
And pieces, locks and super-fleece together used to go
To fill the bales at Carmody's, a score of years ago.

A ringer from the western sheds, whose fame was wide and deep,
Was asked to take a vacant pen and shear a thousand sheep.
"Of course, we've only got the blades!" "Well, what I want to know:
Why don't you get a bloke to take it off 'em with a hoe?"

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