William Henry Ogilvie

William Henry Ogilvie Poems

The camp-fire gleams resistance
To every twinkling star;
The horse-bells in the distance
Are jangling faint and far;
...

The hats of a man may be many

In the course of a varied career,
...

My road is fenced with the bleached, white bones
And strewn with the blind, white sand,
Beside me a suffering, dumb world moans
On the breast of a lonely land.
...

Ben Hall was out on Lachlans side
With a thousand pounds on his head;
A score of troopers were scattered wide
...

Great big lolloping lovable things!
Rolling and tumbling on every lawn,
Tearing at slippers and bones and wings-
...

Store cattle from Nelanjie! The mob goes feeding past,
With half-a-mile of sandhill 'twixt the leaders and the last;
The nags that move behind them are the good old Queensland stamp-
Short backs and perfect shoulders that are priceless on a camp;
...

Now, money was scarce and work was slack
And love to his heart Crept in,
And he rode away on the Northern track
To war with the world and win;
...

The skies that arched his land were blue,

His bush-born winds were warm and sweet,
...

When you've ridden a four-year-old half of the day
And, foam to the fetlock, they lead him away,
...

He was the Red Creek overseer, a trusted man and true,
Whose shoulder never left the wheel when there was work to do;
...

Hurrah for the storm-clouds sweeping!

Hurrah for the driving rain!
...

All day we had driven the starving sheep to the scrub where the axes ply,
And the weakest had lagged upon weary feet and dropped from the ranks to die;
And the crows Hew up from the rotting heaps and the ewes too weak to stand,
And the fences Haunted red skins like flags, and the dour drought held the land.
...

These are the men with the sun-tanned faces
and the keen far-sighted eyes-
the men of the open spaces,
and the land where the mirage lies.
...

Gaily in front of the stockwhip
The horses come galloping home,
Leaping and bucking and playing
With sides all a lather of foam;
...

As I wandered home
By Hedworth Combe
I heard a lone horse whinney,
...

‘ He's away ! '- With a quickened wild beat of the heart
Every horseman responds, riding hard for a start,
...

The real ones, the right ones, the straight ones and the true,
The pukka, peerless sportsmen-their numbers are but few;
...

If I were old, a broken man and blind,
and one should lead me to Mid-Eildon's crest,
and leave me there a little time to rest
...

Harry Morant was a friend I had
In the years long passed away,
A chivalrous, wild and reckless lad,
A knight born out of his day.
...

This is our heritage; the far-flung grass,
The golden stubble and the dark-red moor;
Men pass and perish as the swift years pass,
...

William Henry Ogilvie Biography

Born in Kelso, Scotland, Ogilvie moved to Australia at the age of twenty. One of his reasons for leaving his homeland was his admiration of the writer Adam Lindsay Gordon and like Gordon, a great love for horses. When he arrived in Australia he found work as a drover, a breaker, and a musterer. He worked at Maroupe, located in South Australia as well as Belalie on the Warrego. It was during this time that he began writing, his poetry focusing on the Outback life and it's many adventures in an acclamatory, romantic verse. Ogilvie had many of his works published in the Mount Gambier Border Watch, the Australasian and the Bulletin. A couple of years before his return to Scotland in 1901 he published his most well known collection of verse in 1898. It is considered to be his best and most notable piece of work. While all of his works were published in Australia, he never returned. After his return to Scotland he continued to write poems that concerned the Scottish borders. The well known poet, Hugh McDairmund, hailed his work as a triumph. Unfortunately, though he was successful in both countries, he died practically unknown and has become one of the more obscure poets of that era.)

The Best Poem Of William Henry Ogilvie

The Bush, My Lover

The camp-fire gleams resistance
To every twinkling star;
The horse-bells in the distance
Are jangling faint and far;
Through gum-boughs torn and lonely
The passing breezes sigh;
In all the world are only
My star-crowned Gove and I.

The still night wraps Macquarie;
The white moon, drifting slow,
Takes back her silver glory
From watching waves below;
To dalliance I give over
Though half the world may chide,
And clasp my one true Lover
Here on Macquarie side.

The loves of earth grow olden
Or kneel at some new shrine;
Her locks are always golden-
This brave Bush-Love of mine;
And for her star-lit beauty,
And for her dawns dew-pearled,
Her name in love and duty
I guard against the world.

They curse her desert places!
How can they understand
Who know not what her face is
And never held her handy-
Who may have heard the meeting
Of boughs the wind has stirred,
Yet missed the whispered greeting
Our listening hearts have heard.

For some have travelled over
The long miles at her side,
Yet claimed her not as Lover
Nor thought of her as Bride:
And some have followed after
Through sun and mist for years,
Nor held the sunshine laughter,
Nor guessed the raindrops tears.

And if her droughts are bitter,
Her dancing mirage vain-
Are all things gold that glitter?
What pleasure but hath pain?
And since among Love's blisses
Love's penalties must live,
Shall we not take her kisses,
And, taking them, forgive?

The winds of Dawn are roving
The river-oaks astir . . .
What heart were torn of loving
That had no I've but her?
Till last red stars are lighted
And last winds wander West,
Her troth and mine are plighted-
The lover I love best!

William Henry Ogilvie Comments

Bootlace Phil 13 September 2018

Ogilvie what a Wonderful Poet, One of the Finest! can you Imagine He and Harry Morant Together? One wonders, Did they collaborate together When Versing? There is a Similarity Esp with Morants verse? ?

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