voices from the past


Mount Bukaroo

by Henry Lawson (1867-1922)

Australian writer

Then the light of day commencing
Found us at the gully's head,
Splitting timber for the fencing,
   Stripping ark to roof the shed.
Hands and hearts the labour strengthened;
   Weariness we never knew,
Even when the shadows lengthened
   Round the base of Bukaroo.

There for days below the paddock
   How the wilderness would yield
To the spade, and pick, and mattock,
   While we toiled to win the field.
Bronzed hands we used to sully
   Till they were of darkest hue,
'Burning off' down in the gully
   At the back of Bukaroo.

When we came the baby brother
   Left in haste his broken toys,
Shouted to the busy mother
   'Here is dadda and the boys!'
Strange it seems that she was able
   For the work that she would do;
How she'd bustle round the table
   In the hut 'neath Bukaroo!

When the cows were safely yarded,
   And the calves were in the pen,
All the cares of day discarded,
   Closed we round the hut-fire then.
Rang the roof with boyish laughter
   While the flames o'er-topped the flue;
Happy days remembered after -
   Far away from Bukaroo.

But the years were full of changes,
   And a sorrow found us there;
For our home amid the ranges
   Was not safe from searching Care.
On he came, a silent creeper;
   And another mountain threw
O'er our lives a shadow deeper
   Than the shade of Bukaroo.

All the farm is disappearing;
   For the home has vanished now,
Mountain scrub has choked the clearing,
   Hid the furrows of the plough.
Nearer still the scrub is creeping
   Where the little garden grew;
And the old folks now are sleeping
   At the foot of Bukaroo.

About the Author

See our page on Henry Lawson Includes a linked list of all his writing available on our website.

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