The future was dark and the past was dead
As they gazed on the sea once more –
But a nation was born when the immigrants said
IT IS well when you’ve lived in clover,
To mourn for the days gone by—
Would I live the same life over
Could I live again? Not I!
’Tis a wonderful time when these hours begin,
These long ‘small hours’ of night,
When grass is crisp, and the air is thin,
And the stars come close and bright.
It chanced upon the very day we'd got the shearing done,
A buggy brought a stranger to the West-o'-Sunday Run;
He had a round and jolly face, and he was sleek and stout,
The boy cleared out to the city from his home at harvest time --
They were Scots of the Riverina, and to run from home was a crime.
The old man burned his letters, the first and last he burned,
And he scratched his name from the Bible when the old wife's back was turned.
You almost heard the surface bake, and saw the gum-leaves turn --
You could have watched the grass scorch brown had there been grass to burn.
In such a drought the strongest heart might well grow faint and weak --
I hate this grinding poverty—
To toil, and pinch, and borrow,
And be for ever haunted by
The spectre of to-morrow.
The night too quickly passes
And we are growing old,
So let us fill our glasses
It was somewhere in September, and the sun was going down,
When I came, in search of `copy', to a Darling-River town;
`Come-and-have-a-drink' we'll call it -- 'tis a fitting name, I think --