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Charles Henry Souter

Harvest Time

When the cranky German waggon,
With its ten or fifteen bag on
Comes a-jerkin’ and a-joltin’ down the dusty, limestone street,
And the “Norther’s” blowin’ blindin’,
And the rollers are a-grindin’,
And the agent jabs his sampler thro’ the sackin’ to the wheat,
Let ’em slide along the plank! slide along! slide along!
Sixty bushels for the Bank; slide along!

When your back is fairly breakin’
And your very fingers shakin’
With the heavin’, heavin’, heavin’, in the blarsted, blazin’ sun;
And the agent finds the spots out
And takes all his sample lots out
Where its rusty, pinched, or smutty—knockin’ off five pound a ton;
Sling ’em over with a jerk! slide along! slide along!
Sixty days of wasted work! slide along!

Sixty days a-ploughin’ mallee
In the God-forgotten valley

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Shifting Sand

Do you see that post a-stickin in the sand?
Just the point of it a-poking thro' the sand?
Me and Madge put in that fence.
Yes! We should have had more sense!
We was young, you see, and didn't understand.

Twenty years come next November we began;
There was nothing here but scrub when we began --
Sold the farm on 'Dingo Flat,'
And put all we had in that!
Into blasted shifting sand and 'Take-all pan.'

This here paddick--which? Why where you're standing now
(Oh! it was one, tho' you wouldn't think so now!)
Well, we grubbed it, nice and neat,
And we gut it in with wheat;
And we didn't reap enough to feed the cow!

In the early spring the sand began to shift ---
In a 'Norther' have you ever seen it shift?

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The Mallee Fire

I SUPPOSE it just depends on where you’re raised,
Once I met a cove as swore by green belar!
Couldn’t sight the good old mallee-stump I praised;
Well!—I couldn’t sight belar, and there you are!
But the faces in the fire where the mallee stump’s a-blinking
Are the friendliest I ever seen, to my way o’ thinking!

In the city where the fires is mostly coal—
There! I can’t a-bear to go and warm my feet!
Spitting, fizzing things as hasn’t got no soul!
Things as puffs out yaller smoke instead of heat!
But at home—well, it is home when the mallee-stump’s a-burning,
And the evenin’s drawing chilly and the season is a-turning.

And there’s some as runs ’em down because they’re tough.
Well? And what’s the good of anythink as ain’t?
No. It’s nary use to serve ’em any bluff,
For they’d use up all the patience of a saint.
But they’ll split as sweet as sugar if you know the way to take ’em;
If you don’t, there isn’t nothink in the world as’ll make ’em.

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Bound for Sourabaya!

OH, the moon shines bright, and we sail to-night,
And we’re bound for Sourabaya!
So it’s ‘Farewell, Jane!’ for we’re off again
With the turning of the tide!
Oh, the Java girls haven’t got no curls,
But they’ll meet us on the Praya,
And, Malay or Dutch, well, the odds ain’t much,
And the ocean’s deep and wide!

We’re bound for Sourabaya, boys,
Where the girls are kind and brown!
By the break of day we’ll be far away!
Farewell to Sydney town!

Oh, the girls look glum, when the parting’s come,
And we’re bound for Sourabaya!
And they weep and wail, cos’ the ship must sail
With the turning of the tide!
But we soon forget, when our sheets are wet
And the dancing dolphins play—ah,

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