The Barcoo

(The Squatters' Song)

Original Text: 
The Poems of Henry Kendall, ed. Bertram Stephens (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1920): 37. Sydney Electronic Text and Image Service (SETIS), digital text sponsored by AustLit:
2    And loud with the lowing of cattle,
3We speed for a land where the strange forests sleep
5Now call on the horses, and leave the blind courses
6    And sources of rivers that all of us know;
7For, crossing the ridges, and passing the ledges,
8And running up gorges, we'll come to the verges
9    Of gullies where waters eternally flow.
10Oh! the herds they will rush down the spurs of the hill
11    To feed on the grasses so cool and so sweet;
12And I think that my life with delight will stand still
13    When we halt with the pleasant Barcoo at our feet.
17    Though the face of the forest-land changes.
18The leagues we may travel down beds of hot gravel,
19    And clay-crusted reaches where moisture hath been,
20While searching for waters, may vex us and thwart us,
21Yet who would be quailing, or fainting, or failing?
23When we leave the dry channels away to the south,
24    And reach the far plains we are journeying to,
25We will cry, though our lips may be glued with the drouth,
26    Hip, hip, and hurrah for the pleasant Barcoo!


1] Barcoo: a river in east central Australia.
Narran: a region in New South Wales. Back to Line
4] brattle: rattle. Back to Line
14] Barwon: a coastal township in New South Wales.
brigalow scrubs: a native Australian acacia tree that creates open woodlands throughout Queensland and New South Wales. Back to Line
15] Culgoä ranges: part of the Great Dividing Range of New South Wales. Back to Line
16] mulga: small acacia trees forming dense scrub in dry inland areas of Australia. Back to Line
22] ween: suppose. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Poems and Songs (1862)
RPO poem Editors: 
Cameron La Follette
RPO Edition: