Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian bush poems



There was once a shearer by name Bluey Brink,
A devil for work and a devil for drink;
He could shear his two hundred a day without fear,
And drink without blinking four gallons of beer.

Now Jimmy the barman who served out the drink,
He hated the sight of this here Bluey Brink,
Who stayed much too late and came much too soon,
At evening, at morning, at night and at noon.

One morning as Jimmy was cleaning the bar,
With sulphuric acid he kept in a jar,
Old Bluey came yelling and boiling with thirst;
‘ What ever you’ve got Jim, just hand me the first!’

Now it ain’t in the histories, it ain’t put in print,
But Bluey drank acid with never a stint,
Saying, ‘That’s the stuff Jimmy! Well, strike me stone dead,
This’ll make me the ringer of Stevenson’s shed!’

Now all that long day as he served out the beer,
Poor Jimmy was sick with his trouble and fear;
Too worried to argue, too anxious to fight,
Seeing the shearer a corpse in his fright.

When early next morning he opened the door,
Then along came the shearer, asking for more,
With his eyebrows all singed and his whiskers deranged,
And holes in his hide like a dog with the mange.

Says Jimmy, ‘and how did you find the new stuff?’
Says Bluey, ‘It’s fine, but I’ve not had enough!
It gives me great courage to shear and to fight,
But why does that stuff set my whiskers alight?

‘I thought I knew drink, but I must have been wrong,
for what you just give me was proper and strong;
It set me to coughing and you know I’m no liar,
But every cough set my whiskers on fire!’


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