Classic Australian Poetry – Five Miles From Gundagai (author unknown)

I’m used to punchin’ bullock teams
Across the hills and plains,
I’ve teamed outback these forty years
In blazin’ droughts and rains,
I’ve lived a heap of troubles down
Without a bloomin’ lie
But I can’t forget what happened to me
Five miles from Gundagai.

‘Twas getting dark, the team got bogged,
The axle snapped in two;
I lost me matches and me pipe,
So what was I to do?
The rain came on, ‘twas bitter cold,
And hungry too was I.
And the dog sat on the tucker box
Five miles from Gundagai.

Some blokes I know has stacks o’ luck,
No matter ‘ow they fall,
But there was I, Lord love a duck!
No blasted luck at all.
I couldn’t make a pot of tea,
Nor get me trousers dry,
And the dog sat on the tucker box
Five miles from Gundagai.

I can forgive the blinkin’ team,
I can forgive the rain,
I can forgive the dark and cold,
And go through it again,
I can forgive me rotten luck,
But hang me till I die,
I can’t forgive that bloody dog
Five miles from Gundagai.

***

The Australian Literature Review
www.auslit.net

Classic Book of Australian Verse

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