A. B. (“Banjo”) Paterson

A Mountain Station

I bought a run a while ago
On country rough and ridgy,
Where wallaroos and wombats grow —
The Upper Murrumbidgee.
The grass is rather scant, it’s true,
But this a fair exchange is,
The sheep can see a lovely view
By climbing up the ranges.

And ‘She-oak Flat’ ’s the station’s name,
I’m not surprised at that, sirs:
The oaks were there before I came,
And I supplied the flat, sirs.
A man would wonder how it’s done,
The stock so soon decreases —
They sometimes tumble off the run
And break themselves to pieces.

I’ve tried to make expenses meet,
But wasted all my labours;
The sheep the dingoes didn’t eat
Were stolen by the neighbours.
They stole my pears — my native pears —
Those thrice-convicted felons,
And ravished from me unawares
My crop of paddy-melons.

And sometimes under sunny skies,
Without an explanation,
The Murrumbidgee used to rise
And overflow the station.
But this was caused (as now I know)
When summer sunshine glowing
Had melted all Kiandra’s snow
And set the river going.

Then in the news, perhaps, you read:
‘Stock passings. Puckawidgee,
‘Fat cattle: Seven hundred head
‘Swept down the Murrumbidgee;
‘Their destination’s quite obscure,
‘But, somehow, there’s a notion,
‘Unless the river falls, they’re sure
‘To reach the Southern Ocean.’

So after that I’ll give it best;
No more with Fate I’ll battle.
I’ll let the river take the rest,
For those were all my cattle.
And with one comprehensive curse
I close my brief narration,
And advertise it in my verse —
‘For Sale! A Mountain Station.’

About the poet
A. B. (“Banjo”) Paterson
By the same poet
The Man from Snowy River
Waltzing Matilda
Clancy of the Overflow
The Road to Old Man’s Town
We’re All Australians Now
A Dog’s Mistake
The Wild Colonial Boy
Under the Shadow of Kiley’s Hill
The Road to Hogan’s Gap
The Hypnotist
The City of Dreadful Thirst
A Change of Menu
The Man from Ironbark
Saltbush Bill
Mulga Bill’s Bicycle
In Defence of the Bush
The Story of Mongrel Grey
A Bush Christening
In the Droving Days
The Geebung Polo Club
The Last Parade
Related books
Banjo Paterson at amazon.co.uk

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