Gold in Their Teeth
Henry Lawson, 1906
An unusual application was made to the Clerk of Petty Sessions at Hay last week for two miners' rights. The incident which led to the application is not an everyday occurrence. It seems that a butcher in Melbourne, in the course of his duties, found that some sheep he was killing had a quantity of gold in their teeth, a larger quantity than had previously been seen. He reported the matter to two friends of his, mining prospectors, who made inquiries in Melbourne, and found through the stock agents that the sheep came from this district.
They have found it in bricks of old chimney and wall,
Where there never was clay to be seen;
And the puzzled grey-beards couldn't make out at all
Where the hell the old brickfield had been!
There is no doubt today if the old field were rushed
Oh! the sandy and holy old ground
And the true site of Babel were dry blown or crushed,
That some grains to the dish would be found.
And there's no doubt at all that in old "early days"
The first tribes of the Land of Baksheeth
Often packed up their asses and took the back ways
Of some sheep that had gold in their teeth.
But out in the west there was never a quest
Since the Brass Well of Myal was lost
Like the diggers who keep tracking travelling sheep
That are dead, and the back-tracks criss-crossed
Oh! they'll meet with some Bushmen who've been there and know
Who have time both for thinking and sleep
And will set them at once if they're anxious to go
On the track of them travelling sheep.
Then they'll point (for a clue) to the last Jackaroos,
And they'll say, while their own they unsheath
"You gets on his track an' you follers it back
He's a jumbuck with gold in his teeth."
(And its Good luck! Gooday! as they amble away
While the prospectors bad passions seethe.)