- Ah! Where's my old
black billy, with its shining, glossy dial,
- My tent and woolly
blanket that I've carried many a mile,
- My bits of Yankee
waterproof to wrap around my swag,
- My old tin plate and
eating sticks and canvas gunny bag?
- And where are my old
cossacks, those guardians of my feet,
- And my thirty-two
repeater to get the daily meat,
- My old brown, battered
stetson for to decorate my head.
- (I guess I'll wear
that stetson when I'm camping with the dead!)
- I've ordered lots of
tucker, tea, jam, sugar, flour and rice,
- Bread and cheese and
other things both suitable and nice,
- And bought some
ammunition for to use in that there gun -
- You take the tip from
me, old hoss, I'm going to have some fun!
- I'm leaving this here
city and its noise just for a while,
- For mountain gorge and
gully, where all nature seems to smile;
- Where streams are
softly crooning, as they wander on their way.
- And magpie, thrush and
jackass make merry all the day.
- Where sweet bell-bird
and mopoke softly call along the creek,
- And the perfumed
breath of flowers comes and kisses your red cheek;
- Where the wattles
scented blossom throws its radiance all around
- And in brilliant
golden showers falls its petals on the ground.
- There I can stalk the
dingo, the fox and kangaroo,
- And 'pot' the
brown-eyed rabbit, or the tiger snake pursue
- Or lie in silent
ambush as the evening turns to night
- To shoot the quacking
wood-duck as they pass on homeward flight.
- Or sit me down on
grassy banks beside a purling brook,
- With rod in hand and
cast the fly the silver trout to hook,
- Or lie in
contemplative mood beneath the shady trees
- To watch wee tiny
modest flowers flirting with the bees.
- Or I can pitch the six
by eight as twilight shadows fall
- And mother Nature
quietly draws the night veil over all
- And all the feathered
songsters steal silently to rest
- To sleep with drowsy
playmates in cosy feathered nests.
- The quietude of
evening brings many strange delights,
- When camping neath the
gum-trees on starry summer nights.
- You hear the gum
leaves whisp'ring their love songs to the breeze.
- You lie awake and
listen, "Ah! There ain't no joys like these!"
- Ah! Pale nocturnal
students who burn the midnight oil;
- Go leave your dusty
volumes, waste not your life in toil
- "For youth is
soon departed" as saith Omar the Wise,
- "The flower that
once has blossomed forever after dies".
- Exchange the pleasant
bushland for the silent studio
- And live the life of
campers; the grandest life I know.
- Methinks the very
angels who dwell in God's own skies
- Must look upon all
campers with longing, envious eyes.
- So come along my
hearties; forget the toil and strife,
- The office and the
workshop, and make the most of life.
- Go grab your old black
billy and buckle up your pack
- And let us go together
along the old bush track.
- Roy Davies
- December 10, 1917
- Some blokes buy their
pleasures at the pictures for a "zack",
- While others go to
races and the winners they don't back,
- Some will go out
surfing and lie upon the sand
- Until their backs get
blistered, then they tell you that it's grand
- But others get a
girlie and take her for a walk
- And pass away the
sunny hours with silly dilly talk
- Others play at
football and race the field around,
- Then grab each other
by the neck and sling them to the ground.
- Yet some may go out
fishing beside the sparkling sea
- Return home in the
evening, with not one fish for tea
- Still, others might go
skating where wheels whizz fast and free,
- They strike their
heads upon the floor and pretty stars do see.
- And some may go out
cycling, their faces free from care,
- But when they get a
puncture, you ought to hear them swear!
- Others take on
different sports to pass away the time;
- But give to me, a
walking tour, ah! Thatís indeed sublime.
- Yes let me go
a-walking tour on some sunshiny day,
- Along a pretty winding
road that rakes me far away;
- That takes me o'er the
hillside where grow the flowers and trees
- That give their
richest perfume unto the fresh spring breeze
- Or guides me down the
valley unto some shady dell
- Where babbles forth a
brooklet, and mosses sweetly smell.
- So if I'm feeling
hungry, or if I start to tire,
- I just unsling my
knapsack and then I start a fire.
- Ah! when the fire is
crackling and the billy 'gins to sing,
- I'm happier than any
man who's millionaire or king.
- Yes happy 'cause I'm
far away from all the busy throng,
- Where I can list' to
Nature sing a soft and lovely song.
- So you can have your
pictures, your races, and your girl,
- And you can play at
football, or upon the wheels can whirl,
- But give to me a
winding road, with bright blue sky above,
- And I will be
contented as the most contented dove.
- Roy Davies
- Down along the golden beaches there's a land
both bright and free
- Where the music of the forest mingles with the
- Them the trees are decked with blossom, and the
grass is long and green
- Where the cattle come to water by the river's
- Oh the soft alluring sweetness of the days that
are to be!
- There are sunny days awaiting us, oh brother
- There'll be nights on moonlit beaches, cosy
camps in forest glades,
- There'll be painted skies at evening to observe
as daylight fades;
- There'll be rosy skies at morning, -- preludes
to long happy days,
- When we wake to hear the rumble of the surf in
- We'll have fried fish for our breakfast, we've
have "bunny hoosh' for tea,
- There are pleasant days awaiting us, oh brother
- There are happy days awaiting: we will leave
this "Bedlam Town",
- Straighten up these drooping shoulders, and
erase each line and frown,
- We will harden flabby muscles, put some inches
on to chest,
- And all work can go to blazes -- we will have a
- Yes, to hell with every master, we must have
- There are happy days awaiting us, oh brother
- Roy Davies
- Note: Nekome war the nickname of Myles