Treasure Island

Anonymous Oceania


How the Sailor rode the Brumby


There was an agile sailor lad
Who longed to know the bush
So with his swag and billy-can
He said he'd make a push.
He left his ship in Moreton Bay
And faced the Western run,
And asked his way, ten times a day,
And steered for Bandy's Run.
Said Bandy: "You can start, my son,
If you can ride a horse,"
For stockmen on the cattle-run
Were wanted there, of course.
Now Jack had strode the cross-bars oft
On many a bounding sea,
So reckoned he'd be safe enough
On any moke you see.

They caught him one and saddled it,
And led it from the yard,
It champed a bit and sidled round
And at the sailor sparred.
Jack towed her to him with a grin,
He eyed her fore and aft;
Then thrust his foot the gangway in
And swung aboard the craft.

The watchers tumbled off the rail,
The boss lay down and roared,
While Jack held tight by mane and tail
And rocked about on board.
But still he clung as monkeys cling
To rudder, line and flap,
Although at every bound and spring
They thought his neck must snap.

They stared to see him stick aloft
- The brum. bucked fierce and free,
But he had strode the cross-bars oft
On many a rolling sea.
The saddle from the rolling back
Went spinning in mid-air,
Whilst two big boots were flung off Jack
And four shoes off the mare.

The bridle broke and left her free,
He grasped her round the neck;
"We're 'mong the breakers now," cried he,
"There's bound to be a wreck."
The brumby struck and snorted loud,
She reared and pawed the air,
It was the grandest sight the crowd
Had ever witnessed there.
For Jack with arms and legs held tight
The brumby's neck hung round
And yelled, "A pilot, quick as light,
Or strike me I'm aground."

The whites and blacks climbed on the rails,
The boss stood smiling by
As Jack exclaimed, "Away she sails!"
- The brum. began to fly.
She bounded first against the gate,
And Jack cried out, "Astern!"
Then struck a whirlpool - at any rate
That was the sailor's yarn.
The brumby spun him round and round,
She reared and'kicked and struck,
And with alternate bump and bound
In earnest began to buck.

A tree loomed on the starboard bow,
And "Port your helm!" cried he;
She fouled a bush and he roared "You scow!"
And "Keep to the open sea!"
From ears to tail he rode her hard,
From tail to ears again,
One mile beyond the cattle-yard
And back across the plain.

Now high upon the pommel bumped,
Now clinging on the side,
And on behind the saddle lumped
With arms and legs flung wide.
They only laughed the louder then
When the mare began to back
Until she struck the fence at last
Then sat and looked at Jack.

He gasped, "I'm safe in port at last,
I'll quit your bounding mane!"
Dropped off and sang, "All danger's passed
And Jack's come home again."
Old Jack has been a stockman now
On Bandy's Run for years
Yet memories of that morning's fun
To many still bring tears.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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Read poems about / on: sea, horse, fun, son, spring, tree, home, light, running, memory, smile

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