Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian bush poems



Song of the Old Boundary Rider 


Fat and full of health are the valleys of the Condamine,

There the yellow maize and the green tobacco grow,

Through the little gardens runs the trailing passion-vine,

And softly to the North the white downs flow.


Here nothing changes, seed-time or harvest-time,

Mulga on the skyline, mulga round the place,

Riding round the fences I hear the bells of bullocks chime,

But homely sounds come rarer than a woman's face.


Lonely is the day and lonely is the firelight,

Lonely is the heart when the trees come creeping near,

When the bobock calls the very dogs are dumb with fright,

And when a voice starts singing it's my own voice that I hear.


Back let me ride to the valley of the Condamine,

There the little homesteads nestle in their green,

Opal where the mists rise, amber where the paddocks shine,

My own things round me and none to come between.


  Vance Palmer,  1885 (Bundaberg) to 1959 (Melbourne)

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