Henry Lawson

Mount Bukaroo

Only one old post is standing Solid yet, but only one Where the milking, and the branding, And the slaughtering were done. Later years have brought dejection, Care, and sorrow; but we knew Happy days on that selection Underneath old Bukaroo. Then the light of day commencing Found us at the gully’s head, Splitting timber for the fencing, Stripping bark to roof the shed. Hands and hearts the labour strengthened; Weariness we never knew, Even when the shadows lengthened Round the base of Bukaroo. There for days below the paddock How the wilderness would yield To the spade, and pick, and mattock, While we toiled to win the field. Bronzed hands we used to sully Till they were of darkest hue, `Burning off’ down in the gully At the back of Bukaroo. When we came the baby brother Left in haste his broken toys, Shouted to the busy mother: `Here is dadda and the boys!’ Strange it seems that she was able For the work that she would do; How she’d bustle round the table In the hut ‘neath Bukaroo! When the cows were safely yarded, And the calves were in the pen, All the cares of day discarded, Closed we round the hut-fire then. Rang the roof with boyish laughter While the flames o’er-topped the flue; Happy days remembered after Far away from Bukaroo. But the years were full of changes, And a sorrow found us there; For our home amid the ranges Was not safe from searching Care. On he came, a silent creeper; And another mountain threw O’er our lives a shadow deeper Than the shade of Bukaroo. All the farm is disappearing; For the home has vanished now, Mountain scrub has choked the clearing, Hid the furrows of the plough. Nearer still the scrub is creeping Where the little garden grew; And the old folks now are sleeping At the foot of Bukaroo.

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