The Cradle Song
- by Louis Esson 19Baby, O baby, fain you are for bed,
Magpie to mopoke busy as the bee;
The little red calf's in the snug cow-shed,
An' the little brown bird's in the tree.
Daddy's gone a-shearin', down the Castlereagh,
So we're all alone now, only you an' me.
All among the wool-O, keep your wide blades full-O!
Daddy thinks o' baby, wherever he may be.
Baby, my baby, rest your drowsy head,
The one man that works here, tired you must be,
The little red calf 's in the snug cow-shed,
An' the little brown bird 's in the tree.
The Shearers Wife
- by Louis Esson 15Before the glare o' dawn I rise
To milk the sleepy cows, an' shake
The droving dust from tired eyes,
Look round the rabbit traps, then bake
The children's bread.
There's hay to stook, an' beans to hoe,
An' ferns to cut in the scrub below,
Women must work, when men must go
Shearing from shed to shed.
I patch an' darn, now evening comes,
An' tired I am with labour sore,
Tired o' the bush, the cows, the gums,
Tired, but we must dree for long months more
What no tongue tells.
The moon is lonely in the sky,
Lonely the bush, an' lonely I
Stare down the track no horse draws nigh,
An' start . . . at the cattle bells.
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