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Saltbush Bill, J. P.

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Song of the Pen Not for the love of women toil we, we of the craft,Not for the people's praise;Only because our goddess made us her own and laughed,Claiming us all our days,Claiming our best endeavour—body and heart and brainGiven with no reserve—Niggard is she towards us, granting us little gain;Still, we are proud to serve.Not unto us is given choice of the tasks we try,Gathering grain or chaff;One of her favoured servants toils at an epic high,One, that a child may laugh.Yet if we serve her truly in our appointed place,Freely she doth accordUnto her faithful servants always this saving grace,Work is its own reward!

Song of the Wheat We have sung the song of the droving days,Of the march of the travelling sheep;By silent stages and lonely waysThin, white battalions creep.But the man who now by the land would thriveMust his spurs to a plough-share beat.Is there ever a man in the world aliveTo sing the song of the Wheat!It's west by south of the Great DivideThe grim grey plains run out,Where the old flock-masters lived and diedIn a ceaseless fight with drought.Weary with waiting and hope deferredThey were ready to own defeat,Till at last they heard the master-word—And the master-word was Wheat.Yarran and Myall and Box and Pine—'Twas axe and fire for all;They scarce could tarry to blaze the lineOr wait for the trees to fall,Ere the team was yoked, and the gates flung wide,And the dust of the horses' feetRose up like a pillar of smoke to guideThe wonderful march of Wheat.Furrow by furrow, and fold by fold,The soil is turned on the plain;Better than silver and better than goldIs the surface-mine of the grain;Better than cattle and better than sheepIn the fight with drought and heat;For a streak of stubbornness, wide and deep,Lies hid in a grain of Wheat.When the stock is swept by the hand of fate,Deep down in his bed of clayThe brave brown Wheat will lie and waitFor the resurrection day:Lie hid while the whole world thinks him dead;But the Spring-rain, soft and sweet,Will over the steaming paddocks spreadThe first green flush of the Wheat.Green and amber and gold it growsWhen the sun sinks late in the West;And the breeze sweeps over the rippling rowsWhere the quail and the skylark nest.Mountain or river or shining star,There's never a sight can beat—Away to the sky-line stretching far—A sea of the ripening Wheat.When the burning harvest sun sinks low,And the shadows stretch on the plain,The roaring strippers come and goLike ships on a sea of grain;Till the lurching, groaning waggons bearTheir tale of the load complete.Of the world's great work he has done his shareWho has gathered a crop of wheat.Princes and Potentates and Czars,They travel in regal state,But old King Wheat has a thousand carsFor his trip to the water-gate;And his thousand steamships breast the tideAnd plough thro' the wind and sleetTo the lands where the teeming millions bideThat say: "Thank God for Wheat!"

Brumby's Run Brumby is the Aboriginal word for a wild horse....