Old Bukaroo

Mount Bukaroo
Only one old post is standing –
Solid yet, but only one –
Where the milking, and the branding,
And the slaughtering were done.
Later years have brought dejection,
Care, and sorrow; but we knew
Happy days on that selection
Underneath old Bukaroo.

Then the light of day commencing,
Found us at the gully’s head,
Splitting timber for the fencing,
Stripping bark to roof the shed.
Hands and heart with labour strengthened,
Weariness we never knew,
Even when the shadows lengthened
Round the base of Bukaroo.

There for days below the paddock
How the wilderness would yield
To the spade, and pick, and mattock,
While we toiled to win the field.
Hard brown hands are hard to sully,
Ours to deepest blackness grew
“Burning Off” down the gully
At the back of Bukaroo.

When we came the baby brother
Left in haste his broken toys,
Shouted to the busy mother:
“here is dadda and the boys!”
Strange one woman’s arms were able
All those rough bush tasks to do-
How she’d bustle round the table
In the hut ‘neath Bukaroo!

When the cows were safely yarded,
And thee calves were in the pen,
All the cares of day discarded,
Round the fire we clustered then.
Rang the roof with boyish laughter
While the flames o’er-topped the flue-
Happy nights remembered after
Far away from Bukaroo.

But the years are full of changes,
And a sorrow found us there;
For our home amid the ranges
Was not safe from searching Care.
On he came, a silent creeper;
And another mountain threw
O’er our lives a shadow deeper
Than the shade of Bukaroo.