1926  "The Old Shepherd"
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This poem refers to a droving trip during the 1926 drought, when Dave travelled from Clarafield Station in Qld (Google "Clarafield Station") to the Gulf of Carpentaria with 12,000 jumbucks. 


The old bearded shepherd stepped up to the bar                                                                                                                                                                  
And called for his pint with a grin.
He said, "I've been droving with 'Broken-leg' Carr,
And only just now arrived in.

We've been on the road with the Bottle Tree's sheep,
But give me a beer for my story will keep". 
Lifting his pot up he blew off the froth,
Then whiskers and all disappeared.

He drank like a bullock arrived at the trough
When a long dry stage is cleared.
He slammed down the pewter, then said with a smile,
"Best beer I've tasted in five hundred mile".

He called the barmaid just to fill 'er again,
And it soon went the way of the first.
He remarked that he couldn't remember just when
He'd had such a cow of a thirst---.

Bar the day Sunny fell on the Bottle Tree run,
He footed it home, fifteen miles in the sun.
He then seated himself on an empty beer cask,
And told in his own plain rough way

How they battled it through at their arduous task,
Nursing poor weary sheep day by day.
Finding a fill for them, both water and feed
Lifting a tail up and holding the lead.  

"I've been on the road with twelve thousand sheep,
Battling daily to keep them alive.
To see the poor cows would near make you weep
You would wonder just how they survive.  

But 'monkeys' are tough when put to the test,
They were living on nuts 'way back out west.
We lifted at Bottle Tree right off the shears
One very cold morning in May.

The condition of them almost drove us to tears
But we counted and got them away.
The hawks flew in dozens not far overhead,
And any we dropped were counted for dead.  

We would travel by day in three separate flocks,
Boxing all in the one brake at night,
Two men with each on two poor old crocks
And they wonder why shepherds get tight.

Two lessons soon learned when droving poor sheep,
To have plenty patience and your temper to keep
At length we arrived on the big Pea-bush run,
Where they knew not the meaning of drought.

There the boss got agistment, by cripes it was fun
To watch their old bellies fill out.
We held them a day just to steady them down,
Then turning the plant we all started for town.

Now the old bearded shepherd still sits on the cask,
But his cheque has gone over the "dump".
Is he having a spree, but why do you ask
As long as there's beer in the pump.

But come right away, let the old fellow be,
He'll go droving again when he's finished his spree.


Sarre, via Richmond        STATION HAND