Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian bush poems




From the George Bateman Collection, copiled by Howard Rose.


 The Second First Pioneers.


They wanted a crowd who could march all night,

Carry a camel's load,

And find their way to the same old line,

With never a trace of a load.


To do the wiring and dig the "saps",

And tell where the big shells fall,

And lay the rails and build the roads,

And fight it they got the call.


So they called from Australia,

One thousand men, and later more,

Men from the cities and the bush,

Rallied from shore to shore.


Some of them guided an office pen,

And some of them wielded shears,

They issued them with an Infantry Kit,

And called them the Pioneers.


We don't loom large in the papers.

But talk to the man who knows,

From the line back to the heavy guns,

They saw where we come and go.


They meet us in half dug "saps"

To let the Infantry by,

They pass us nightly on "duckboard" trucks,

And they know where our dead mates lie.


We've had good times, but mostly rough,

But that is part of our game,

And no matter how the cards are dealt,

The Pioneers remail the same.


So Xmas greetings are sent along,

To show they remember you,

Here's hoping, as year runs out,

We shovel the last "sap" through. 


But through all, we've carried the colours,

And through all, our victorious leads,

We're going to fight to the finish,

And savour our victory deeds


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