Comes the British bulldog first—solid as a log—
He’s so ugly in repose that he’s a handsome dog;
Full of mild benevolence as his years increase;
Silent as a china dog on the mantelpiece.
Jack Cornstalk as a drover born,
Jack Cornstalk gaunt and tan,
Jack Cornstalk leaves his love forlorn,
Jack Cornstalk man to man.
Wide solemn eyes that question me,
Wee hand that pats my head—
Where only two have stroked before,
And both of them are dead.
So, I’ve battled it through on my own, Jack,
I have done with all dreaming and doubt.
Though “stoney” to-night and alone, Jack,
I am watching the Old Year out.
On the Track of Grand Endeavour, on the long track out to Bourke,
Past the Turn-Back, and past Howlong, and the pub at
I gaze upon my son once more,
With eyes and heart that tire,
As solemnly he stands before
The screen drawn round the fire;
The rising moon on the peaks was blending
Her silver light with the sunset glow,
When a swagman came as the day was ending
Along a path that he seemed to know.
Whenever I’m moving my furniture in
Or shifting my furniture out—
Which is nearly as often and risky as Sin
In these days of shifting about—
Queen Hilda rode along the lines,
And she was young and fair;
And forward on her shoulders fell
I hate the pen, the foolscap fair,
The poet’s corner, and the page,
For Grief and Death are written there,
In every land and every age.