William Henry Ogilvie

Here you will find the Poem His Gippsland Girl of poet William Henry Ogilvie

His Gippsland Girl

Now, money was scarce and work was slack 
 And love to his heart Crept in, 
And he rode away on the Northern track 
 To war with the world and win; 
And he vowed by the locket upon his breast 
 And its treasure, one red gold curl, 
To work with with a will in the fartherest West 
 For the sake of his Gippsland girl. 

The hot wind blows on the dusty plain 
 And the red sun burns above, 
But he sees her face at his side again, 
 And he strikes each blow for love. 
He toils by the light of one far-off star 
 For the winning of one white pearl, 
And the swinging pick and the driving bar 
 Strike home for the Gippsland girl. 

With an aching wrist and a back that's bent, 
 With salt sweat blinding eyes, 
'Tis little he'd reek if his life were spent 
 In the winning so grand a prize. 
His shear blades flash and over his hand 
 The folds of the white fleece curl, 
And all day long he sticks to his stand 
 For the love of his Gippsland girl. 

When the shearing's done and the shed's cut out 
 On Barwon and Narran and Bree; 
When the shearer mates with the rouseabout 
 And the Union man with the free; 
When the doors of the shanty, open wide, 
 An uproarious welcome hurl, 
He passes by on the other side 
 For the sake of his gippsland girl. 

When summer lay brown on the Western Land 
 He rode once more to the South, 
Athirst for the touch of a lily hand 
 And the kiss of a rosebud mouth; 
And he sang the songs that shorten the way, 
 And he envied not king or earl, 
And he spared not the spur in his dappled grey 
 For the sake of his Gippsland girl. 

At the garden gate when the shadows fell 
 His hopes in the dusk lay dead; 
'Nelli? Oh! Surely you heard that Nell 
 Is married a month' they said. 
He spoke no word; with a dull, dumb pain 
 At his heart, and his brain awhirl 
He turned his grey to the North again 
 For the sake of his Gippsland girl. 

And he rung the board in a Paroo shed 
 By the sweat of his aching brow, 
But he blued his cheque, for he grimly said, 
 'There is nothing to live for now.' 
And out and away where the big floods start 
 And the Darling dust-showers swirl, 
There's a drunken shearer who broke his heart 
 Over a Gippsland girl! 

William H Ogilvie