Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian poems


Little bush maiden, wondering-eyed,
Playing alone in the creek-bed dry,
In the small green flat on every side
Walled in by Moonbi ranges high;
Tell me the tale of your lonely life
'Mid the great grey forests that knos no change.
"I never left my home," she said,
"I have never been over the Moonbi Range.

"Father and mother are both long dead,
And I live with granny in yon wee place,"
"Where are your father and mother?" I said.
She puzzled awhile with thoughtful face,
Then a light came into the shy brown eye,
And she smiled, for she thought the question strange
On a thing so certain--"When people die
They go to the country over the range."

"And what is this coutry like, my lass?"
"There are blossoming trees and pretty flowers,
And shining creeks where the golden grass
Is fresh and sweet from the summer showers.
They never need work, nor want, nor weep;
No troubles can come their hearts to estrange
Some summer night I shall fall asleep,
And wake in the country over the range."

Child, you are wise in your simple trust,
For the wisest man knows no more than you.
Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust;
Our views by a range are bounded too;
But we know that God has this gift in store,
That, when we come to the final change,
We shall meet with our loved ones gone before
To the beautiful country over the range.

Banjo Paterson

Back to Paterson & Lawson index