The New Chum Jackeroo

A poem by Henry Lawson

Let bushmen think as bushmen will,
And say whate’er they choose,
I hate to hear the stupid sneer
At New Chum Jackaroos.

He may not ride as you can ride,
Or do what you can do;
But sometimes you’d seem small beside
The New Chum Jackaroo.

His share of work he never shirks,
And through the blazing drought,
He lives the old things down, and works
His own salvation out.

When older, wiser chums despond
He battles brave of heart,
’Twas he who sailed of old beyond
The margin of the chart.

’Twas he who proved the world was round,
In crazy square canoes;
The lands you’re living in were found
By New Chum Jackaroos.

He crossed the deserts hot and bare,
From barren, hungry shores,
The plains that you would scarcely dare
With all your tanks and bores.

He fought a way through stubborn hills
Towards the setting sun,
Your fathers all and Burke and Wills
Were New Chums, every one.

When England fought with all the world
In those brave days gone by,
And all its strength against her hurled,
He held her honour high.

By Southern palms and Northern pines,
Where’er was life to lose,
She held her own with thin red lines
Of New Chum Jackaroos.

Through shot and shell and solitudes,
Wherever feet have gone,
The New Chums fought while eye-glass dudes
And Johnnies led them on.

And though he wear a foppish coat,
And these old things forget,
In stormy times I’d give a vote
For Cuffs and Collars yet.

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