Treasure Island

Andrew Barton Paterson

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

In Defence of the Bush


So you're back from up the country, Mister Lawson, where you went,
And you're cursing all the business in a bitter discontent;
Well, we grieve to disappoint you, and it makes us sad to hear
That it wasn't cool and shady -- and there wasn't whips of beer,
And the looney bullock snorted when you first came into view --
Well, you know it's not so often that he sees a swell like you;
And the roads were hot and dusty, and the plains were burnt and brown,
And no doubt you're better suited drinking lemon-squash in town.
Yet, perchance, if you should journey down the very track you went
In a month or two at furthest, you would wonder what it meant;
Where the sunbaked earth was gasping like a creature in its pain
You would find the grasses waving like a field of summer grain,
And the miles of thirsty gutters, blocked with sand and choked with mud,
You would find them mighty rivers with a turbid, sweeping flood.
For the rain and drought and sunshine make no changes in the street,
In the sullen line of buildings and the ceaseless tramp of feet;
But the bush has moods and changes, as the seasons rise and fall,
And the men who know the bush-land -- they are loyal through it all.
*

But you found the bush was dismal and a land of no delight --
Did you chance to hear a chorus in the shearers' huts at night?
Did they 'rise up William Riley' by the camp-fire's cheery blaze?
Did they rise him as we rose him in the good old droving days?
And the women of the homesteads and the men you chanced to meet --
Were their faces sour and saddened like the 'faces in the street'?
And the 'shy selector children' -- were they better now or worse
Than the little city urchins who would greet you with a curse?
Is not such a life much better than the squalid street and square
Where the fallen women flaunt it in the fierce electric glare,
Wher the sempstress plies her needle till her eyes are sore and red
In a filthy, dirty attic toiling on for daily bread?
Did you hear no sweeter voices in the music of the bush
Than the roar of trams and buses, and the war-whoop of 'the push'?
Did the magpies rouse your slumbers with their carol sweet and strange?
Did you hear the silver chiming of the bell-birds on the range?
But, perchance, the wild birds' music by your senses was despised,
For you say you'll stay in townships till the bush is civilized.
Would you make it a tea-garden, and on Sundays have a band
Where the 'blokes' might take their 'donahs', with a 'public' close at hand?
You had better stick to Sydney and make merry with the 'push',
For the bush will never suit you, and you'll never suit the bush.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004
Edited: Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Do you like this poem?
2 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: women, music, journey, sunshine, city, silver, war, summer, sad, rose, children, rain, red, fire, pain, change, woman, river, child

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (In Defence of the Bush by Andrew Barton Paterson )

Enter the verification code :

Read all 1 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Cry of Torn Leaf, Zillur Rahman Shuvro
  2. Amdo (love), Missau Missau
  3. Dynamic Frustration, Zillur Rahman Shuvro
  4. In Divine Lap of Nature, Zillur Rahman Shuvro
  5. Not towards west, gajanan mishra
  6. The Tributary Stanza, Zillur Rahman Shuvro
  7. Daughter, Missau Missau
  8. Ask, Pradip Chattopadhyay
  9. Starling, Maurice Whyte
  10. Who I Am, Zillur Rahman Shuvro

Poem of the Day

poet William Wordsworth

I

I AM not One who much or oft delight
To season my fireside with personal talk.--
Of friends, who live within an easy walk,
Or neighbours, daily, weekly, in my sight:
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]