Charles Harpur

(23 January 1813 – 10 June 1868 / Windsor, New South Wales)

Bush Justice - Poem by Charles Harpur

A Dealer, bewitched by gain-promising dreams
Settled down near my Station, to trade with my Teams,
And to sell to, my men too! from whom, through the nose,
Until then, I had screw'd just what prices I chose;
And for this, to be sure, I so hated the man,
That I swore ne'er to rest till I'd settled some plan
Whereby in the Lockup to cleverly cram him!
And so to my Super the matter I put,
Who thereupon 'found' a sheep's head near his hut,
And the 'how came it there?' was sufficient to damn him,
The Beak before who I then lugg'd him, as you
May suppose, being neck-deep in Squattery too.

'Twas a beautiful Hearing, as noted at large
By the Clerk (who was bonuss'd)-sheep-stealing the charge;
'Twould make your hearts laugh in the Records to see
How we bullied him out of his wits! -I say we,
Because while on this side against him 1 banged,
On the other the Beak said he ought to be hanged,
For a gallows-grained, scandalous son of transgression!
And committing him then-the case being so plain,
We sent him three hundred miles 'down on the chain'
To his Trial-and eke to his 'acquittal', at Session!
For what care we Squatters for Law on a push?
And for Justice! what has she to do with the Bush?


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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010



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