Watching the Crows
Henry Lawson, 1891
A bushman got lost in a scrub in the North,
And all the long morning the searchers went forth.
They swore at the rain that had washed out the tracks
And left not a trace for the eyes of the blacks;
But, trusting the signs that the blackfellow knows,
A quiet old darkey stood watching the crows.
The solemn old blackman stood silently by;
He stood like a statue, his face to the sky.
Black Billy was out of the bearings, we thought,
If he looked above for the bushman we sought;
For we rather suspected the spirit would go
In, well, quite another direction, you know.
Most bushmen on solemn occasions will joke,
And unto Black Bill 'twas the super who spoke.
He asked, as he cocked his red nose in the air,
"You think it old Harrison sit down up there?"
"I'm watching the crows. Where the white man lies dead
The crows will fly over," the blackfellow said.
The blackfellow died, and long years have gone round
Since the day when old Harrison's body was found;
But still do I see, in my vision at night,
A faint figure come like a shadow in sight,
And nearer and nearer it comes till it grows
Like the form of that blackfellow, "watching the crows".