Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian bush poems





There's a soft and peaceful feeling

Comes across the farming hand

As the shadows go a-stealing

Slow along the new-turned land.

The lazy curling smoke above the thatch is showing blue,

And the weary old plough horses wander homeward two 'n' two,

With their chains a'clinkin', clankin', when their daily toil is through,

And the sun's behnd the hill.

Then it's slowly homeward plodding

As the night begins to creep,

And the barley grass is nodding

To the daisies, all asleep,

The crows are flying heavily, and cawing overhead;

The sleepy milking cows are lowing sof'ly in the shed,

And above them, in the rafters, all the fowls have gone to bed,

When the sun&'s behind the hill.

Then it's "Harry, feed old Roaney!"

And it's "Bill, put up the rail!"

And it's "Tom, turn out the pony!"

"Mary, hurry with the pail!"

And the kiddies run to meet us, and are begging for a ride

On the broad old "Prince" and "Darkey" they can hardly sit astride;

And mother, she is bustling with the supper things inside,

When the sun&'s behind the hill.

Then it's sitting down and yarning

When we've had our bite and sup,

And the mother takes her darning,

And Bess tells how the baldy cow got tangled in the wire,

And Katie keeps the baby-boy from tumbling in the fire;

And the baccy smoke goes curling as I suck my soothing briar,

When the sun's behind the hill.

And we talk about the season,

And of how it's turning out,

And we try to guess the reason

For the long-continued drought,

Oh! a farmer's life ain't roses and his work is never done:

And a job's no sooner over than another is begun.

For he's toiling late and early from the rising of the sun

Till he sinks behind the hill.

But it grows, that peaceful feeling

While I'm sitting smoking there,

And the kiddies all are kneeling

To repeat their ev'ning prayer;

For it seems, somehow, to lighten all the care that must be bore

When the things of life are worrying, and times are troubling sore;

And I pray that God will keep them when my own long-day is o'er,

And the sun's behind the hill.


C J Dennis (1876 - 1938)

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