Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian bush poems

The Never Never Land
By hut, homestead, and shearing-shed,
By railroad, coach and track-
By lonely graves where rest our dead,
Up-Country and Out-Back:
To where beneath the clustered stars
The dreamy plains expand -
My home lies wide a thousand miles
In the Never Never Land.
It lies beyond the farming belt,
Wide wastes of scrub and plain,
A blazing desert in the drought,
A lake-land after rain;
To the skyline sweeps the waving grass,
Or whirls the scorching sand -
A phantom land, a mystic realm!
The Never Never Land.
Where lone Mount Desolation lies,
Mounts Dreadful and Despair-
'Tis lost beneath the rainless skies
In hopeless deserts there;
It spreads nor'-west by No-Man's Land -
Where clouds are seldom seen -
To where the cattle-stations lie
Three hundred miles between.
The drovers of the Great Stock Routes
The strange Gulf country know -
Where, travelling from the southern droughts,
The big lean bullocks go;
And camped by night where plains lie wide,
Like some old ocean's bed,
The watchmen in the starlight ride
Round fifteen hundred head.
Lest in the city I forget
True mateship after all,
My water-bag and billy yet
Are hanging on the wall;
And I, to save my soul again,
Would tramp to sunsets grand
With sad-eyed mates across the plain
In the Never Never Land.

Henry Lawson

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