On the Boundary

Original Text: 
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: 
Publication Notes: 
The Bulletin, March 12, 1892.
RPO poem Editors: 
Cameron La Follette
RPO Edition: