The First Dingo

Henry Lawson, 1907

      The kangaroo was formed to run,
      but not from man alone —
      it ran before the horse or gun
      or native dog was known.
      It ran when drought left waterholes
      three hundred miles between —
      from great floods and greater fires
      than we have ever seen.

      The blacks beside the coastal springs,
      where mountain sides are steep,
      they bred and kept their kangaroos
      much tamer than are sheep.
      And when the men fought inland tribes,
      or when they roamed at large,
      they drove their flocks down to the sea
      and left the gins in charge.

      And so, alert, with startled eyes,
      the shepherdess in fear
      perceives with wonder and surprise
      some foreign beats appear.
      She watches, creeping through the trees,
      and round the blackened logs,
      the strangest sight by southern seas —
      the stranded Dutchmans's dogs.