Maise Byrne – 1930s’ poem

There are folk who travel eastwards

And folk who travel west

Just to roam afar from home

Is what they like the best

Some of them are weary

And some of them are sad

Away they go to hide their woe

And make their sad hearts glad.

 

Oh restless roving lonely folk

Away in far off lands

Who search in vain to ease your pain

Come home to golden sands

To Australia land of sunshine

All green and gold and blue

A young land.  A vast land/

Theres a spot here just for you.

 

A land of wide horizons

Of mountains plain and lake

Theres pleasures here for all of you

Which ever way you take.

So listen and I’ll tell you

Of the bush I love so well

And all the pleasures round about

The spot in which I dwell.

 

In our palatial residence

Beside a stony creek

To find a happy family

You haven’t far to seek.

There’s Joe and me and Ronda

Our darling baby girl

With eyes of blue and cheeks of pink

And hair that’s going to curl.

 

And we’ve a faithful watch dog

We call him Samuel Small

He isn’t any special breed

But just a dash of all

He’s white and brown in patches

With a cheerful turn of mind

No matter where you find us

You’ll find him close behind.

{And we have a gallant pony

Brownie is his name

His sleek and brown and shiny

And we have clipped his mane}

 

We drive him in the jinker

Or for rides on his back

And it’s grand to see him

Come galloping down the track.

 

Of our palatial residence

Perhaps I should explain

It’s built of sheets of stringy bark

You couldn’t call us vain.

But in our humble little home

Just two rooms and a tent

You’ll find a world of happiness

And nought of discontent.

 

There’s bushland all around us

So friendly and so green

I’d like to tell you all about

The wonders I have seen

For the bush is full of interest

For those with eyes to see

There’s living things hide in the scrub

And almost every tree.

 

There’s beauty all about us

From morning until night

In all the green and growing things

Bathed in the gold sunlight

There’s hardy bracken growing

In amongst the trees

Which sigh with softest murmur

When stirred by furtive breeze.

 

And neath the brackens shelter

A nestling in the grass

Are dainty wee wild violets

Scarce noticed as we pass

Sometimes with the violets

is dainty maiden hair

and often green hood orchids

are hiding with them there.

(In among the bracken fern

…………………heath etc}

In springtime all the wattles

Are clothed in gayist gold

The bush becomes a fairyland

Quite wondrous to behold.

Wild shrubs bedecked in flowers

Of misty mauve and white

Make a pleasing picture

All gilded with sunlight.

Sometimes after heavy rain

The water rises high

And in a roaring river

The floods go swirling by.

The creek ends at the corner

And there begins the lake

And we have worn a little path

Upon the way we take

For we often go for picnics

Down the lake in our canoe

We have the greatest fun down there

And Sam enjoys it too.

Of course, I don’t go now you know

For our baby’s very small

But when she’s bigger she shall come

and help enjoy it all.

 

I pack them all together

The things we wish to take

A loaf of bread, some butter

The frying pan and steak.

A bottle full of water

A billy for the tea

And we often take the camera

To snap the things we see.

 

We paddle far off down the lake

Nine miles or so from home

And when we want to stretch our legs

Upon the shore we roam.

Joe takes the gun and whistles Sam

And off they go to see

If they can get some nice wild ducks

And bring them back for tea.

I watch the little parakeets

Hang upside down with ease

As they partake of honey

From the blossoms of the trees

And there’s a mighty wedge tail

A soaring up on high

With scarce a movement of his wings

He floats up in the sky

 

And so I sit and ponder

Upon the things I see

From the graceful gum tree

to the humble bee.

The silvery shining water

Or dark mysterious shore

The other bathed in sunshine’s gold

Who could ask for more.

 

In the midst of my reverie

I hear a distant shot

And so I know they’ll soon be back

I hope they’ve got a lot

The sunlight makes a halo

Around a big gum tree

And in it’s dappled shadow

I make a cup of tea.

 

A mud larks built her next mud nest

Up high upon a bough

And close at hand but lower down

A wagtails building now

Its one of nature’s oddities

That these birds nest in pairs.

Wherever on finds a mud larks nest

There is wagtails building theirs.

 

And right throughout the nesting time

These birds cooperate

They do not fear if dangers near

But rush to help their mate.

The wag tails but a tiny bird

But game right to the core

He’ll tackle those who are his foes

Ten times his self and more.

 

And when they hear his angry cries

The mud larks do their best

To help their little neighbours

Chase away the pest

I stand and watch them for a while

Then haste to get some wood

And put some on the fire

Till it is burning good.

 

Presently from out the scrub

A happy pair appear

Joe hails my crackling fire

With a hearty cheer.

His muddy and his hungry

And Sam is dripping wet

But they have got four nice plump ducks

And praps they’ll get more yet.

We feast on toast and cups of tea

While Joe relates the way

That Sam retrieved two wounded ones

And how one got away.

When we’ve quelled our hungry pangs

And feel at last replete

We shall on our way again

Our journey to complete.

 

Until we reach our favourite spot

In which we wish to camp

Where it is nice and sheltered

And the ground is not too damp

We haste to bring the things ashore

And get the fire alight

And then Joe gets great piles of wood

To last us through the night.

 

While I am cooking supper

Joes takes his rod and bait

And goes to do some fishing

Before it gets too late

For the fish bite best at sundown

Just at the close of day

And he often gets some beauties

Though the biggest get away.

 

Today he’s not so lucky

And only catches two

I’ll go with him tomorrow

And show him what to do.

Mean while we’ll have our supper

Of steak and scrambled eggs

And Sam shall have the tit bits

……………………………….

And when finished eating

And Sammy has been fed

We’ll pack up all the dishes

And prepare ourselves for bed

Away out in the forest

Far from the sound of cars

We’ll be on beds of bracken

Neath a canopy of stars.

For day is done and its grown dark

And we are far from home

And creatures wild from far and near

Have come abroad to roam

There’s a rumble, rumble, rumble

From deep down in a hole

And then a wombat lumbers out

Poor little tailess soul.

 

A mopoke calls – a plover too

And then a screech owl shrieks

And suddenly the air is full

Of countless little squeaks

Theres bats abroad and bandicoots

And creatures big and small

But whats this sound that fills the air

And chills them one and all?

 

A mournful wailing chorus

A haunting lonely cry

The dingo pack is on the track

And somethings going to die

Our Sammy’s hair stands up on end

He hears their mournful howls

“They needn’t think they’re coming here”

Says Sam and fiercely growls.

 

For though our Sam is just a mung’

Whose always in some strife

He’s a truly worthy watch dog

Who’d defend us with his life.

Of course there is no need for this

No need for Sam’s alarm

For a dingo is too cowardly

To try to do us harm.

 

And so we slumber peacefully

With not a thought of fear

Till night is gone and morning comes

And what is this I hear?

A magpie’s happy warble

And a jacky’s hearty laugh

The twitter of the tiny wrens

To wake my better half.

 

And see the sun is shining

The world is all aglow

With tiny sparkling dew drops

A gleaming high and low

And all around is peaceful green

And all above is blue

And from a shining she oak

A thrush is singing too

 

There’s peace here for world weary

And rest for tired eyes

When the wind sings in the tree tops

And the sheoaks softly sighs

Oh! Australia land of sunshine

All green and gold and blue

My heart swells up with happiness

That I belong to you.

July 13, 2019
Poems