Inspiration and genius - one and the same
A Mountain Station
by Andrew Barton Paterson
I bought a run a while ago,
On country rough and ridgy,
Where wallaroos and wombats grow --
The Upper Murrumbidgee.
The grass is rather scant, it's true,
But this a fair exchange is,
The sheep can see a lovely view
By climbing up the ranges.
And She-oak Flat's the station's name,
I'm not surprised at that, sirs:
The oaks were there before I came,
And I supplied the flat, sirs.
A man would wonder how it's done,
The stock so soon decreases --
They sometimes tumble off the run
And break themselves to pieces.
I've tried to make expenses meet,
But wasted all my labours,
The sheep the dingoes didn't eat
Were stolen by the neighbours.
They stole my pears -- my native pears --
Those thrice-convicted felons,
And ravished from me unawares
My crop of paddy-melons.
And sometimes under sunny skies,
Without an explanation,
The Murrumbidgee used to rise
And overflow the station.
But this was caused (as now I know)
When summer sunshine glowing
Had melted all Kiandra's snow
And set the river going.
And in the news, perhaps you read:
`Stock passings. Puckawidgee,
Fat cattle: Seven hundred head
Swept down the Murrumbidgee;
Their destination's quite obscure,
But, somehow, there's a notion,
Unless the river falls, they're sure
To reach the Southern Ocean.'
So after that I'll give it best;
No more with Fate I'll battle.
I'll let the river take the rest,
For those were all my cattle.
And with one comprehensive curse
I close my brief narration,
And advertise it in my verse --
`For Sale! A Mountain Station.'