Henry Lawson

The Drover’s Sweetheart

An hour before the sun goes down Behind the ragged boughs, I go across the little run And bring the dusty cows; And once I used to sit and rest Beneath the fading dome, For there was one that I loved best Who’d bring the cattle home. Our yard is fixed with double bails, Round one the grass is green, The bush is growing through the rails, The spike is rusted in; And ’twas from there his freckled face Would turn and smile at me He’d milk a dozen in the race While I was milking three. I milk eleven cows myself Where once I milked but four; I set the dishes on the shelf And close the dairy door; And when the glaring sunlight fails And the fire shines through the cracks, I climb the broken stockyard rails And watch the bridle-tracks. He kissed me twice and once again And rode across the hill, The pint-pots and the hobble-chain I hear them jingling still; He’ll come at night or not at all He left in dust and heat, And when the soft, cool shadows fall Is the best time to meet. And he is coming back again, He wrote to let me know, The floods were in the Darling then It seems so long ago; He’d come through miles of slush and mud, And it was weary work, The creeks were bankers, and the flood Was forty miles round Bourke. He said the floods had formed a block, The plains could not be crossed, And there was foot-rot in the flock And hundreds had been lost; The sheep were falling thick and fast A hundred miles from town, And when he reached the line at last He trucked the remnant down. And so he’ll have to stand the cost; His luck was always bad, Instead of making more, he lost The money that he had; And how he’ll manage, heaven knows (My eyes are getting dim), He says he says he don’t suppose I’ll want to marry him. As if I wouldn’t take his hand Without a golden glove Oh! Jack, you men won’t understand How much a girl can love. I long to see his face once more Jack’s dog! thank God, it’s Jack! (I never thought I’d faint before) He’s coming up the track.

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