The Bush Girl

Henry Lawson, 1901

      So you rode from the range where your brothers select,
             Through the ghostly, grey Bush in the dawn —
      You rode slowly at first, lest her heart should suspect
             That you were so glad to be gone;
      You had scarcely the courage to glance back at her
             By the homestead receding from view,
      And you breathed with relief as you rounded the spur,
             For the world was a wide world to you.

             Grey eyes that grow sadder than sunset or rain,
             Fond heart that is ever more true,
             Firm faith that grows firmer for watching in vain —
             She'll wait by the slip-rails for you.

      Ah! the world is a new and a wide one to you,
             But the world to your sweetheart is shut,
      For a change never comes to the lonely Bush homes
             Of the stockyard, the scrub, and the hut;
      And the only relief from its dulness she feels
             When the ridges grow softened and dim,
      And away in the dusk to the slip-rails she steals
             To dream of past hours 'with him.'

      Do you think, where, in place of bare fences, dry creeks,
             Clear streams and green hedges are seen —
      Where the girls have the lily and rose in their cheeks,
             And the grass in mid-summer is green —
      Do you think, now and then, now or then, in the whirl
             Of the town life, while London is new,
      Of the hut in the Bush and the freckled-faced girl
             Who waits by the slip-rails for you?

             Grey eyes that are sadder than sunset or rain,
             Bruised heart that is ever more true,
             Fond faith that is firmer for trusting in vain —
             She waits by the slip-rails for you.