In the Days When the World Was Wide and Other Verses

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To an Old Mate

Old Mate! In the gusty old weather,
When our hopes and our troubles were new,
In the years spent in wearing out leather,
I found you unselfish and true —
I have gathered these verses together
For the sake of our friendship and you.

You may think for awhile, and with reason,
Though still with a kindly regret,
That I've left it full late in the season
To prove I remember you yet;
But you'll never judge me by their treason
Who profit by friends — and forget.

I remember, Old Man, I remember —
The tracks that we followed are clear —
The jovial last nights of December,
The solemn first days of the year,
Long tramps through the clearings and timber,
Short partings on platform and pier.

I can still feel the spirit that bore us,
And often the old stars will shine —
I remember the last spree in chorus
For the sake of that other Lang Syne,
When the tracks lay divided before us,
Your path through the future and mine.

Through the frost-wind that cut like whip-lashes,
Through the ever-blind haze of the drought —
And in fancy at times by the flashes
Of light in the darkness of doubt —
I have followed the tent poles and ashes
Of camps that we moved further out.

You will find in these pages a trace of
That side of our past which was bright,
And recognise sometimes the face of
A friend who has dropped out of sight —
I send them along in the place of
The letters I promised to write.

To an Old Mate
Old Mate! In the gusty old weather,

In the Days When the World was Wide
The world is narrow and ways are short, and our lives are dull and slow,
[Dec. — 1894]

Faces in the Street
They lie, the men who tell us in a loud decisive tone
[July — 1888]

The Roaring Days
The night too quickly passes
[Dec. — 1889]

It is stuffy in the steerage where the second-classers sleep,
[Dec. — 1893]

The Drover's Sweetheart
An hour before the sun goes down
[June — 1891]

Out Back
The old year went, and the new returned,
in the withering weeks of drought,
[Sept. — 1893]

The Free-Selector's Daughter
I met her on the Lachlan Side —
[May — 1891]

'Sez You'
When the heavy sand is yielding backward from your blistered feet,
[Mar. — 1894]

Andy's Gone With Cattle
Our Andy's gone to battle now
[Oct. — 1888]

Jack Dunn of Nevertire
It chanced upon the very day we'd got the shearing done,
[Aug. — 1892]

Trooper Campbell
One day old Trooper Campbell
[Apr. — 1891]

The Sliprails and the Spur
The colours of the setting sun
[July — 1899]

Past Carin'
Now up and down the siding brown
[Aug. — 1899]

The Glass on the Bar
Three bushmen one morning rode up to an inn,
[Apr. — 1890]

The Shanty on the Rise
When the caravans of wool-teams climbed the ranges from the West,
[Dec. — 1891]

The Vagabond
White handkerchiefs wave from the short black pier
[Aug. — 1895]

It was somewhere in September, and the sun was going down,
[Dec. — 1893]

Middleton's Rouseabout
Tall and freckled and sandy,
[Mar. — 1890]

The Ballad of the Drover
Across the stony ridges,