The Poetry Corner

The Shepherd

By Banjo Paterson (Andrew Barton)

(Air: She Wore a Wreath of Roses.) He wore an old blue shirt the night that first we met, An old and tattered cabbage-tree concealed his locks of jet; His footsteps had a languor, his voice a husky tone; Both man and dog were spent with toil as they slowly wandered home. Chorus I saw him but a momentyet methinks I see him now While his sheep were gently feeding neath the rugged mountain brow. When next we met, the old blue shirt and cabbage-tree were gone; A brand new suit of tweed and Doctor Dod he had put on; Arm in arm with him was one who strove, and not in vain, To ease his pockets of their load by drinking real champagne. I saw him but a moment, and he was going a pace, Shouting nobbler after nobbler, with a smile upon his face. When next again I saw that man his suit of tweed was gone, The old blue shirt and cabbage-tree once more he had put on; Slowly he trudged along the road and took the well-known track From the station he so lately left with a swag upon his back. I saw him but a moment as he was walking by With two black eyes and broken nose and a tear-drop in his eye.