The Bush Girl

A poem by Henry Lawson

So you rode from the range where your brothers “select,”
Through the ghostly grey bush in the dawn
You rode slowly at first, lest her heart should suspect
That you were glad to be gone;

You had scarcely the courage to glance back at her
By the homestead receding from view,
And you breathed with relief as you rounded the spur,
For the world was a wide world to you.

Grey eyes that grow sadder than sunset or rain,
Fond heart that is ever more true
Firm faith that grows firmer for watching in vain
She’ll wait by the sliprails for you.

Ah! The world is a new and a wide one to you,
But the world to your sweetheart is shut,
For a change never comes to the lonely Bush girl
From the stockyard, the bush, and the hut;

And the only relief from the dullness she feels
Is when ridges grow softened and dim,
And away in the dusk to the sliprails she steals
To dream of past meetings “with him.”

Do you think, where, in place of bare fences, dry creeks,
Clear streams and green hedges are seen
Where the girls have the lily and rose in their cheeks,
And the grass in midsummer is green

Do you think now and then, now or then, in the whirl
Of the city, while London is new,
Of the hut in the Bush, and the freckled-faced girl
Who is eating her heart out for you?

Grey eyes that are sadder than sunset or rain,
Bruised heart that is ever more true,
Fond faith that is firmer for trusting in vain
She waits by the sliprails for you

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