Andrew Barton Paterson ( )


Across the Queensland border line
The mobs of cattle go;
They travel down in sun and shine
On dusty stage, and slow.
The drovers, riding slowly on
To let the cattle spread,
Will say: Heres one old landmark gone,
For old man Tysons dead.
What tales therell be in every camp
By men that Tyson knew!
The swagmen, meeting on the tramp,
Will yarn the long day through,
And tell of how he passed as Brown,
And fooled the local men:
But not for me -- I struck the town,
And passed the message further down;
Thats T.Y.S.O.N.!

There stands a little country town
Beyond the border line,
Where dusty roads go up and down,
And banks with pubs combine.
A stranger came to cash a cheque --
Few were the words he said --
A handkerchief about his neck,
An old hat on his head.

A long grey stranger, eagle-eyed --
Know me? Of course you do?
Its not my work, the boss replied,
To know such tramps as you.
Well, look here, Mister, dont be flash,
Replied the stranger then,
I never care to make a splash,
Im simple, but Ive got the cash;
Im T.Y.S.O.N.

But in that last great drafting-yard,
Where Peter keeps the gate,
And souls of sinners find it barred,
And go to meet their fate,
Theres one who ought to enter in
For good deeds done on earth,
One who from Peters self must win
That meed of sterling worth.

Not to the strait and narrow gate
Reserved for wealthy men,
But to the big gate, opened wide,
The grizzled figure, eagle-eyed,
Will saunter up -- and then
Old Peterll say: Lets pass him through;
Theres many a thing he used to do,
Good-hearted things that no one knew;
Thats T.Y.S.O.N.

Andrew Barton Paterson's other poems:
  1. The Dam that Keele Built
  2. The Pannikin Poet
  3. The Quest Eternal
  4. An Emu Hunt
  5. The Road to Old Mans Town

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