On the Boundary
Where the Dead Men Lie and Other Poems, ed. A.G. Stephens (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1897): 52. Internet Archive. Sydney Electronic Text and Image Service (SETIS), digital text sponsored by AustLit: http://setis.library.usyd.edu.au/oztexts
1I love the ancient boundary-fence--
3When I go ride the boundary
4 I let the old horse jog,
5And take his pleasure in and out
6 Where sandalwood grows dense,
7And tender pines clasp hands across
8 The log that tops the fence.
9'Tis pleasant on the boundary-fence
10 These sultry summer days;
11A mile away, outside the scrub,
12 The plain is all ablaze.
13The sheep are panting on the camps--
14 The heat is so intense;
15But here the shade is cool and sweet
16 Along the boundary-fence.
17I love to loaf along the fence:
18 So does my collie dog:
19He often finds a spotted cat
20 Hid in a hollow log.
21He's very near as old as I
22 And ought to have more sense--
24 Along the boundary-fence.
25My mother says that boundary-fence
26 Must surely be bewitched;
27The old man says that through that fence
28 The neighbours are enriched;
29It's always down, and through the gaps
30 Our stock all get them hence--
31It takes me half my time to watch
32 The doings of that fence.
33But should you seek the reason
34 You won't travel very far:
35'Tis hid a mile away among
37The Jones's block joins on to ours,
38 And so, in consequence,
39It's part of Polly's work to ride
40 Their side the boundary-fence.
2] chock-and-log: a type of fence often used on Australian stations (ranches), laying logs lengthwise upon short, thick notched pieces of wood to make a fence four or five logs high that creates essentially a low wooden wall. Back to Line
23] hammered: worked hard. Back to Line
36] belar: A casuarina tree, often known as the swamp she-oak, native to the east coast of Australia. Back to Line
Publication Start Year:
The Bulletin, March 12, 1892.
RPO poem Editors:
Cameron La Follette