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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 togetherFor 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 seasonTo prove I remember you yet;But you'll never judge me by their treasonWho 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 chorusFor 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 flashesOf light in the darkness of doubt —I have followed the tent poles and ashesOf camps that we moved further out.You will find in these pages a trace ofThat side of our past which was bright,And recognise sometimes the face ofA friend who has dropped out of sight —I send them along in the place ofThe letters I promised to write. CONTENTS WITH FIRST LINES To an Old MateOld Mate! In the gusty old weather,In the Days When the World was WideThe world is narrow and ways are short, and our lives are dull and slow,[Dec. — 1894]Faces in the StreetThey lie, the men who tell us in a loud decisive tone[July — 1888]The Roaring DaysThe night too quickly passes[Dec. — 1889]'For'ard'It is stuffy in the steerage where the second-classers sleep,[Dec. — 1893]The Drover's SweetheartAn hour before the sun goes down[June — 1891]Out BackThe old year went, and the new returned,in the withering weeks of drought,[Sept. — 1893]The Free-Selector's DaughterI 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 CattleOur Andy's gone to battle now[Oct. — 1888]Jack Dunn of NevertireIt chanced upon the very day we'd got the shearing done,[Aug. — 1892]Trooper CampbellOne day old Trooper Campbell[Apr. — 1891]The Sliprails and the SpurThe colours of the setting sun[July — 1899]Past Carin'Now up and down the siding brown[Aug. — 1899]The Glass on the BarThree bushmen one morning rode up to an inn,[Apr. — 1890]The Shanty on the RiseWhen the caravans of wool-teams climbed the ranges from the West,[Dec. — 1891]The VagabondWhite handkerchiefs wave from the short black pier[Aug. — 1895]SweeneyIt was somewhere in September, and the sun was going down,[Dec. — 1893]Middleton's RouseaboutTall and freckled and sandy,[Mar. — 1890]The Ballad of the DroverAcross the stony ridges,[Mar....