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The Ballad Of The Drover Analysis

Author: poem of Henry Lawson Type: poem Views: 6

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Across the stony ridges,

Across the rolling plain,

Young Harry Dale, the drover,

Comes riding home again.

And well his stock-horse bears him,

And light of heart is he,

And stoutly his old pack-horse

Is trotting by his knee.

Up Queensland way with cattle

He travelled regions vast;

And many months have vanished

Since home-folk saw him last.

He hums a song of someone

He hopes to marry soon;

And hobble-chains and camp-ware

Keep jingling to the tune.

Beyond the hazy dado

Against the lower skies

And yon blue line of ranges

The homestead station lies.

And thitherward the drover

Jogs through the lazy noon,

While hobble-chains and camp-ware

Are jingling to a tune.

An hour has filled the heavens

With storm-clouds inky black;

At times the lightning trickles

Around the drover's track;

But Harry pushes onward,

His horses' strength he tries,

In hope to reach the river

Before the flood shall rise.

The thunder from above him

Goes rolling o'er the plain;

And down on thirsty pastures

In torrents falls the rain.

And every creek and gully

Sends forth its little flood,

Till the river runs a banker,

All stained with yellow mud.

Now Harry speaks to Rover,

The best dog on the plains,

And to his hardy horses,

And strokes their shaggy manes;

‘We've breasted bigger rivers

When floods were at their height

Nor shall this gutter stop us

From getting home to-night!'

The thunder growls a warning,

The ghastly lightnings gleam,

As the drover turns his horses

To swim the fatal stream.

But, oh! the flood runs stronger

Than e'er it ran before;

The saddle-horse is failing,

And only half-way o'er!

When flashes next the lightning,

The flood's grey breast is blank,

And a cattle dog and pack-horse

Are struggling up the bank.

But in the lonely homestead

The girl will wait in vain—

He'll never pass the stations

In charge of stock again.

The faithful dog a moment

Sits panting on the bank,

And then swims through the current

To where his master sank.

And round and round in circles

He fights with failing strength,

Till, borne down by the waters,

The old dog sinks at length.

Across the flooded lowlands

And slopes of sodden loam

The pack-horse struggles onward,

To take dumb tidings home.

And mud-stained, wet, and weary,

Through ranges dark goes he;

While hobble-chains and tinware

Are sounding eerily.

. . . . .

The floods are in the ocean,

The stream is clear again,

And now a verdant carpet

Is stretched across the plain.

But someone's eyes are saddened,

And someone's heart still bleeds

In sorrow for the drover

Who sleeps among the reeds.

Submitted by Maddy


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