Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian poems

A Mountain Station

I bought a run a while ago
on country rough and ridgy,
Where wallaroos and wombats grow--
The Upper Murrumbidgee.
The grass is rather scant, it's true,
But this a fair exchange is,
The sheep can see a lovely view
By climbing up the ranges.

The She-Oak Flat's the station's name,
I'm not surprised at that sirs:
Te oaks were there before I came,
Ane I supplied the flat sirs.
A man would wonder how it's done,
The stock so soon decreases--
They sometimes tumble off the run
And break themselves to pieces.

I've tried to make expenses meet,
But wasted all my labours;
The sheep the dingoes didn't eat
Were stolen by the neighbours.
They stole my pears--my native pears--
Those thrice-convicted felons,
And ravished from me unawares
My crop of paddy-melons.

And sometimes under sunny skies,
Without an explanation,
The Murrumbidgee used to rise
And overflow the station.
But this was caused (as I now know)
When summer sunshine glowing
Had melted all Kiandra's snow
And set the river going.

Then in the news, perhaps you read:
"stock passing. Puckawidgee,
Fat cattle: Seven hundred head
Swept down the Murumbidgee;
Their destination's quite obscure,
But, somehow, there's a notion,
Unless the river falls, they're sure
To reach the Southern Ocean."

So after that I'll give it best;
No more with fate I'll battle.
I'll let the river take the rest,
For those were all my cattle.
And with one comprehensive curse
I close my brief narration,
And advertise it in my verse--
"For Sale! A Mountain Station."

Banjo Paterson

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