It was built of bark and poles, and the floor was full of holes
Where each leak in rainy weather made a pool;
And the walls were mostly cracks lined with calico and sacks –
There was little need for windows in the school.
Ten miles down Reedy River
A pool of water lies,
And all the year it mirrors
The changes in the skies,
’Twas in the felon’s dock he stood, his eyes were black and blue;
His voice with grief was broken, and his nose was broken, too;
OH, tell me, God of Battles! Oh, say what is to come!
The King is in his trenches, the millionaire at home;
Lo! the Boar’s tail is salted, and the Kangaroo’s exalted,
And his right eye is extinguished by a man-o’-warsman’s cap;
In these days of peace and money, free to all the Commonweal,
There are ancient dames in Buckland wearing wedding rings of steel;
Wedding rings of steel and iron, worn on wrinkled hands and old,
And the wearers would not give them, not for youth nor wealth untold.
A cloud of dust on the long white road,
And the teams go creeping on
Inch by inch with the weary load;
When God's wrath-cloud is o'er me,
Affrighting heart and mind;
When days seem dark before me,
And days seem black behind;
Oh! this is a joyful dirge, my friends, and this is a hymn of praise;
And this is a clamour of Victory, and a pæan of Ancient Days.