Banjo Paterson

(17 February 1864 – 5 February 1941 / New South Wales)

Colonial Experience - Poem by Banjo Paterson

When first I came to Sydney Cove
And up and down the streets did rove,
I thought such sights I ne'er did see
Since first I learnt my A, B, C.

Oh! it's broiling in the morning,
It's toiling in the morning,
It's broiling in the morning,
It's toiling all day long.

Into the park I took a stroll
I felt just like a buttered roll.
A pretty name "The Sunny South!"
A better one "The Land of Drouth!"

Next day into the bush I went,
On wild adventure I was bent,
Dame Nature's wonders I'd explore,
All thought of danger would ignore.

The mosquitoes and bull-dog ants
Assailed me even through my pants.
It nearly took my breath away
To hear the jackass laugh so gay!

This lovely country, I've been told,
Abounds in silver and in gold.
You may pick it up all day,
Just as leaves in autumn lay!

Marines will chance this yarn believe,
But bluejackets you can't deceive.
Such pretty stories will not fit,
Nor can I their truth admit.

Some say there's lots of work to do.
Well, yes, but then, 'twixt me and you,
A man may toil and broil all day
The big, fat man gets all the pay,

Mayhap such good things there may be,
But you may have them all, for me,
Instead of roaming foreign parts
I wish I'd studied the Fine Arts!

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 10, 2012

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