The Man from Snowy River, by A. B. Paterson

A Mountain Station

I bought a run a while ago,

  On country rough and ridgy,

Where wallaroos and wombats grow —

  The Upper Murrumbidgee.

The grass is rather scant, it’s true,

  But this a fair exchange is,

The sheep can see a lovely view

  By climbing up the ranges.

And She-oak Flat’s the station’s name,

  I’m not surprised at that, sirs:

The oaks were there before I came,

  And I supplied the flat, sirs.

A man would wonder how it’s done,

  The stock so soon decreases —

They sometimes tumble off the run

  And break themselves to pieces.

I’ve tried to make expenses meet,

  But wasted all my labours,

The sheep the dingoes didn’t eat

  Were stolen by the neighbours.

They stole my pears — my native pears —

  Those thrice-convicted felons,

And ravished from me unawares

  My crop of paddy-melons.

And sometimes under sunny skies,

  Without an explanation,

The Murrumbidgee used to rise

  And overflow the station.

But this was caused (as now I know)

  When summer sunshine glowing

Had melted all Kiandra’s snow

  And set the river going.

And in the news, perhaps you read:

  ‘Stock passings. Puckawidgee,

Fat cattle: Seven hundred head

  Swept down the Murrumbidgee;

Their destination’s quite obscure,

  But, somehow, there’s a notion,

Unless the river falls, they’re sure

  To reach the Southern Ocean.’

So after that I’ll give it best;

  No more with Fate I’ll battle.

I’ll let the river take the rest,

  For those were all my cattle.

And with one comprehensive curse

  I close my brief narration,

And advertise it in my verse —

  ‘For Sale! A Mountain Station.’

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/p/paterson/ab/man_from_snowy_river/chapter11.html

Last updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 16:24