The Poetry Corner

The Stockmans Last Bed

By Banjo Paterson (Andrew Barton)

Be ye stockmen or no, to my story give ear. Alas! for poor Jack, no more shall we hear The crack of his stockwhip, his steeds lively trot, His clear Go ahead, boys, his jingling quart pot. Chorus For we laid him where wattles their sweet fragrance shed, And the tall gum trees shadow the stockmans last bed. Whilst drafting one day he was horned by a cow. Alas! cried poor Jack, its all up with me now, For I never again shall my saddle regain, Nor bound like a wallaby over the plain. His whip it is silent, his dogs they do mourn, His steed looks in vain for his masters return; No friend to bemoan him, unheeded he dies; Save Australias dark sons, few know where he lies. Now, stockman, if ever on some future day After the wild mob you happen to stray, Tread softly where wattles their sweet fragrance spread, Where alone and neglected poor Jacks bones are laid.