THERE’S a fresh track down the paddock
Through the lightwoods to the creek,
And I notice Billy Craddock
And Maloney do not speak,
And The Snag is slyly bitter
When he’s criticising Bill,
And there’s quite a foreign glitter
On the fellows at the mill.
Sid M’Mahon’s turned out a dandy
With a masher coat and tie,
And the engine-driver, Sandy,
Curls his whiskers on the sly:
All the boys wear paper collars
And their tombstone shirts of nights,
So it’s ten to one in dollars
There’s a new girl up at White’s.
She’s a charmer from the river,
But she steeps the lads in gloom,
With her blue eyes all a-quiver
And her hair like wattle-bloom;
Though she’s pretty and beguiling,
And so lit up, like, with fun
That the flowers turn to her smiling,
Just as if she was the sun.
But I wish she’d leave the valley,
For the camp is dull to me,
Now the mill hands never rally
For the regulation spree,
And there’s not another joker
Gives a tinker’s curse for nap.,
Or will take a hand at poker
Or at euchre with a chap!
Tom won’t stir us with his fiddle
By the boilers as he did
While Bob stepped it in the middle,
And we passed the billy-lid.
Ah! we had some gay old nights there,
But the boys now don’t agree,
And they hang about at White’s there,
When they’ve togged up after tea.
With the gloves we have no battle;
Now they sneak away and moon
Round with White, discussing cattle
All the Sunday afternoon.
There’s a want of old uprightness,
Too, has come upon the push,
And a sort of cold politeness
That’s not called for in the bush.
They’re all off, too, in that quarter;
Kate goes sev’ral times a week
Seeing Andy Kelly’s daughter,
Jimmy’s sister, up the creek;
And this difference seems a pity,
Since their chances are so slim-
While they are running after Kitty,
She is running after Jim.
(Edward George Dyson)
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Based on Keywords: a-quiver, sid, joker, snag, politeness, uprightness, boilers, euchre, togged, maloney, wattle-bloom