The Poetry Corner

John Gilbert (Bushranger)

By Banjo Paterson (Andrew Barton)

[He and his gang stuck up the township of Canowindra for two days in 1859.] (Air: Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.) John Gilbert was a bushranger of terrible renown, For sticking lots of people up and shooting others down. John Gilbert said unto his pals, Although they make a bobbery About our tricks we have never done a tip-top thing in robbery. We have all of us a fancy for experiments in pillage, Yet never have we seized a town, or even sacked a village. John Gilbert said unto his matesThough partners we have been In all rascality, yet we no festal day have seen. John Gilbert said he thought he saw no obstacle to hinder a Piratical descent upon the town of Canowindra. So into Canowindra town rode Gilbert and his men, And all the Canowindra folk subsided there and then. The Canowindra populace cried, Heres a lot of strangers!!! But immediately recovered when they found they were bushrangers. And Johnny Gilbert said to them, You need not be afraid. We are only old companions whom bushrangers you have made. And Johnny Gilbert said, said he, Well never hurt a hair Of men who bravely recognise that we are just all there. The New South Welshmen said at once, not making any fuss, That Johnny Gilbert, after all, was Just but one of us. So Johnny Gilbert took the town (including public houses), And treated all thecockatoos and shouted for their spouses. And Miss OFlanagan performed in manner quite gintailly Upon the grand planner for the bushranger OMeally. And every stranger passing by they took, and when they got him They robbed him of his money and occasionally shot him. And Johnnys enigmatic feat admits of this solution, That bushranging in New South Wales is a favoured institution. So Johnny Gilbert neer allows an anxious thought to fetch him, For well he knows the Government dont really want to ketch him. And if such practices should be to New South Welshmen dear, With not the least demurring word ought we to interfere.