Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Woodford Drover

Words: Unknown
Tune:  Traditional (All for me Grog)

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It was one Friday night, when the stars shone out bright,
And the drovers had emptied the bottle.
Those rough Milton cattle, they came with a rattle
Through logs, over stumps, and through wattle.

Our horses in splendour, we all well remember,
Raced hard for the lead, but in vain;
There was Jack came a crash, up a Moreton Bay ash,
And through it lost hold of his rein.

Then onward we sped, it would wake all the dead,
To hear the great row that we made:
You may talk of Mongolians, and also Napoleon—
You'd think 'twas their men on parade.

On, onward we drew to the lead but a few,
While the wattlo cut like a knife blade;
Still onward we flew to the lead all but two,
For tbe pace it was hot that we made.

When at last we caught them a lesson we taught them;
We wheeled them and rung them in rough timber tall,
I have ridden in thick brushes, and also great rushes,
But I think this the worst of them aIl.

One night-horse—a stranger—not knowing his danger,
Raced headlong and stumbled, then fell;
Not a sound was then heard, but the screech of a bird,
And the far distant sound of a bell.

And there he lay dead, while the rider his head
He had struck 'gainst an old iron bark;
There the horse lay, and his bones to this day
Yoa can see by daylight or dark.

And before the day broke, when the men in camp woke,
They found every hoof bad cleared out;
Not a word one spoke, for they knew 'twas no joke,
Said the Boss," Now, my lads, put aboat."

That day when we mustered together we clustered,
Each man was put in his place;
Our loss it was nought, for we were but three short,
To the watchman that was no disgrace.

Our second, moreover, was an off-handed drover,
Thro' summer and winter he'd weathered;
So now the trip's over, farewell Woodford drover,
Our store bullocks they are delivered.

Another from The Queenslander, this time from Saturday 22 September 1894.  Attributed only to "H".

The illustration to this post is a photograph of Queensland drovers from around 1880.

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