The Shearers Wife by Louis Esson

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Before 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.

 

Source: The Bulletin, 1907

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