Barcroft Henry Boake

Here you will find the Poem From The Far West of poet Barcroft Henry Boake

From The Far West

'Tis a song of the Never Never land? 
Set to the tune of a scorching gale 
On the sandhills red, 
When the grasses dead 
Loudly rustle, and bow the head 
To the breath of its dusty hail: 

Where the cattle trample a dusty pad 
Across the never-ending plain, 
And come and go 
With muttering low 
In the time when the rivers cease to flow, 
And the Drought King holds his reign; 

When the fiercest piker who ever turned 
With lowered head in defiance proud, 
Grown gaunt and weak, 
Release doth seek 
In vain from the depths of the slimy creek? 
His sepulchre and his shroud; 

His requiem sung by an insect host, 
Born of the pestilential air, 
That seethe and swarm 
In hideous form 
Where the stagnant waters lie thick and warm, 
And Fever lurks in his lair: 

Where a placid, thirst-provoking lake 
Clear in the flashing sunlight lies? 
But the stockman knows 
No water flows 
Where the shifting mirage comes and goes 
Like a spectral paradise; 

And, crouched in the saltbush' sickly shade, 
Murmurs to Heaven a piteous prayer: 
`O God! must I 
Prepare to die?' 
And, gazing up at the brazen sky, 
Reads his death-warrant there. 

Gaunt, slinking dingoes snap and snarl, 
Watching his slowly-ebbing breath; 
Crows are flying, 
Hoarsely crying 
Burial service o'er the dying? 
Foul harbingers of Death. 

Full many a man has perished there, 
Whose bones gleam white from the waste of sand? 
Who left no name 
On the scroll of Fame, 
Yet died in his tracks, as well became 
A son of that desert land.