The Squatter's Daughter

Henry Lawson, 1889

      Out in the west, where runs are wide,
      And days than ours are hotter,
      Not very far from Lachlan Side
      There dwelt a wealthy squatter.

      Of old opinions he was full,
      An Englishman, his sire,
      Was hated long where peasants pull
      Their forelocks to the squire.

      He loved the good old British laws,
      And Royalty's regalia,
      And oft was heard to growl because
      They wouldn't fit Australia.

      This squatter had a lovely child,
      An angel bright we thought her;
      And all the stockmen rude and wild
      Adored the squatter's daughter.

      But on a bright eventful morn,
      A swell of northern nation,
      A lordling, brought his languid yawn
      And eyeglass to the station.

      He coveted the squatter's wealth;
      He saw the squatter's daughter:
      And, what is more than heart or health,
      His empty title bought her.

      And "Yes", the father made her say
      In spite of tears and kissing;
      But early on the wedding day
      The station found her missing.

      And madder still the squatter grew,
      And madder still the lover;
      When by-and-by a-missing too,
      A stockman they discover.

      Then on the squatter's brow the frown
      Went blacker still and blacker;
      He sent a man to bring from town
      A trooper and a tracker.

      The dusty rascal saw the trail;
      He never saw it plainer;
      The reason why he came to fail
      Will take a shrewd explainer.

      A day and night the party lose;
      The track the tracker parried;
      And then a stockman brought the news,
      "The runaways were married!"

      The squatter swore that he'd forgive,
      Perhaps, when he forgot her;
      But he'd disown her while he'd live,
      And while they called him squatter.

      But as the empty months went o'er,
      To ease his heart's vexation
      He brought his bold young son-in-law
      To manage stock and station.

      And glad was he that he forgave,
      Because a something had he
      To keep his gray hairs from the grave,
      And call him "Dear Grand Daddy".

      To Democratic victories
      In after years he'd listen;
      And, strange to say, to things like these
      His aged eyes would glisten.

      The lordling took another girl
      Not quite of his desire,
      And went to where the farmers twirl
      Their forelocks to the squire.

      Now often to the station comes
      An old and wrinkled tracker:
      They cheer his heart with plenty rum,
      And "plenty pheller bacca".