The Ballad of the Black-Sheep
Henry Lawson, 1900
A black-sheep, from England, who worked on the run
Riding where the stockmen ride
He sat by the hut when the day's work was done
Lone huts where the black sheep bide.
"I'm tired of my life!" to his lone self said he,
"My girl and my country are both done with me!"
"I'm tired of my life!" to the wide scrubs said he
"My girl and my country are long done with me!"
He took from a packet a portrait and curl
Such things as the exiles keep
And sadly he gazed at the face of the girl
Lost girl of a lost black-sheep.
"I'll go where there's fighting and die there!" said he;
"My girl and my country are well rid of me.
"I'll go where there's fighting and die there," said he;
"For heart-break and country that's well rid of me!"
He rode with a thousand, he rode with the best
Riding as bushmen ride
Who'd ridden alone on the wastes of the West
Wide wastes where the drought-fiends bide,
They rode as they'd ride to an up-country ball,
And the laugh of the black-sheep was lightest of all!
As gaily as though to an up-country ball,
And the laugh of the black-sheep was lightest of all.
The road was a shambles, the hill was a hell
Red rosed where the reckless ride
And he with the foremost lay torn by a shell
(Die hard where your father died!)
"The death of a rebel!" he laughed as he groaned
"For the land that adoptee the land that disowned!"
The death of a black-sheep! they laugh as they groan
For the lands that adopt and the lands that disown!