On the Trek

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On the Trek  (1902) 
by Banjo Paterson

Oh, the weary, weary journey on the trek, day after day,
With sun above and silent veldt below;
And our hearts keep turning homeward to the youngsters far away,
And the homestead where the climbing roses grow.
Shall we see the flats grow golden with the ripening of the grain?
Shall we hear the parrots calling on the bough?
Ah! the weary months of marching ere we hear them call again,
For we're going on a long job now.

In the drowsy days on escort, riding slowly half asleep,
With the endless line of waggons stretching back,
While the khaki soldiers travel like a mob of travelling sheep,
Plodding silent on the never-ending track,
While the constant snap and sniping of the foe you never see
Makes you wonder will your turn come -- when and how?
As the Mauser ball hums past you like a vicious kind of bee --
Oh! we're going on a long job now.

When the dash and the excitement and the novelty are dead,
And you've seen a load of wounded once or twice,
Or you've watched your old mate dying, with the vultures overhead --
Well, you wonder if the war is worth the price.
And down along the Monaro now they're starting out to shear,
I can picture the excitement and the row;
But they'll miss me on the Lachlan when they call the roll this year,
For we're going on a long job now.

This work is is in the public domain because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council (ACC), (Duration of Copyright) (February 2012).