Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant
Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant was an Anglo-Australian drover, horseman, poet, soldier and convicted war criminal whose skill with horses earned him the nickname "The Breaker". The bulk of his published work appeared in The Bulletin magazine.
During service in the Second Boer War, Morant participated in the summary execution of several Boer (Afrikaner) prisoners and the killing of a German missionary, Daniel Heese, who had been a witness to the shootings. His actions led to his controversial court-martial and execution for murder.
In the century since his death, Morant has become a folk hero to some in Australia. His story has been the subject of several ... more »
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Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant Poems
Who's Riding Old Harlequin Now?
They are mustering cattle on Brigalow Vale Where the stock-horses whinny and stamp, And where long Andy Ferguson, you may go bail, Is yet boss on a cutting-out camp.
The sun may shine, the rain may fall, And the world roll round about, - The king's men and king's horses all Can never rub one thing out.
One fox-faced virgin, word for word, Repeats each sland'rous thing she's heard, And sourly smiles as scandal slips With gusto from her thin white lips.
Now, all the world is green and bright Outside the latticed pane; The fields are decked with gold and white, And Spring has come again.
Athwart the star-lit midnight sky Luminous fleecy clouds drift by, As the mysterious, pallid moon Sinks in the waveless still lagoon.
There's a damper in the ashes, tea and sugar in the bags, There's whips of feed and shelter on the sandridge for the nags, There's gidya wood about us and water close at hand, And just one bottle left yet of the good Glenlivet brand.
The world around is sleeping, The stars are bright o'erhead, The shades of myalls weeping Upon the sward are spread;
Never before was daughter of Eve endow'd with a face so fair, There be none of God's holy angels with a beauty half so rare As thine, nor dreamer has ever dreamed the loveliness you wear. There's a gleam in your golden tress, Lieb! a light in your melting eye!
Love Outlasteth All
Could I borrow the laverock's lifting note, Or the silvery song from the blackbird's throat, Then would I warble the whole day long, Telling, in floods of passionate song,
West by North Again
We've drunk our wine, we've kissed our girls, and funds are sinking low, The horses must be thinking it's a fair thing now to go; Sling the swags on Condamine and strap the billies fast, And stuff a bottle in the bags and let's be off at last.
To a Silent Girl
When the sklll'd fashioner of female faces Designed your mask, he wrought with cunning fist, And made a mouth expressly to be kiss'd - Not for shrill utterance nor pert grimaces.
BUTCHERED TO MAKE A DUTCHMAN'S HOLIDAY
In prison cell I sadly sit, A d__d crest-fallen chappie! And own to you I feel a bit- A little bit - unhappy!
At the River-Crossing
Oh! the quiet river-crossing Where we twain were wont to ride, Where the wanton winds were to sing Willow branches o'er the tide.
While Yet we may
Ancient, wrinkled dames and jealous - They whom joyless Age downcasts - And the sere, gray-bearded fellows Who would fain re-live their pasts -
Comments about Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant
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Who's Riding Old Harlequin Now?
They are mustering cattle on Brigalow Vale
Where the stock-horses whinny and stamp,
And where long Andy Ferguson, you may go bail,
Is yet boss on a cutting-out camp.
Half the duffers I met would not know a fat steer
From a blessed old Alderney cow.
Whilst they're mustering there I am wondering here -
Who is riding brown Harlequin now?
Are the pikers as wild and the scrubs just as dense
In the brigalow country as when
There was never a homestead and never a fence
Between Brigalow Vale and The Glen?
Do they yard the big micks 'neath the light ...