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1 October, 2020
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    The Rouseabout by Thomas Edward Spencer

    In a humble hut, on a scrubby flat,
    Near the land of the setting sun,
    Lived a simple but honest rouseabout,
    Who rejoiced in the name of Dunn.
    He could warble as sweet as a bandicoot,
    He could dance like a kangaroo,
    His age, it was just about four-feet ten,
    And his height about thirty-two.

    He worshipped a beautiful female maid
    Who lived on a distant plain;
    Whose husband had gone to a far-off land,
    And had never come back again.
    She had bright blue hair, she had rosy eyes,
    And her cheeks were of golden hue.
    So Tommy set off, as the sun went down,
    To tell her he loved her true.

    He traversed the hills and the mountain peaks,
    He climbed up a rugged plain,
    He swam the beds of the dried-up creeks
    And he tramped o’er the raging main.
    He saw not the wind on the distant hills,
    He heard not the rising moon,
    For his soul was dead, and his burning head
    Was as calm as a big monsoon.

    His eye, like a hurricane, roared aloud,
    His voice, like the lightning flashed,
    The blustering blizzard it boomed and burst
    As on through the dust he splashed.
    He rode on a flea-bitten chestnut mare,
    With a patent pneumatic tyre;
    And the sparks from the feet of his flying steed
    Set Billabong Creek on fire.

    He leapt from the train at the half-way house,
    And stood at the maiden’s door;
    He wept at the sight of that dear old spot
    Which he never had seen before;
    He stood on his head at the maiden’s feet,
    And he begged her his lot to share,
    Then, brushing tear from his glist’ning ear,
    He spoke of his dumb despair.

    “See! see!” he exclaimed to the winsome maid,
    in syllables tall and sweet,
    “The whole of my expectations I cast
    At thy beautiful, blushing feet.
    For you I would live – through eternity!
    Say ‘yes’ – for my own sweet sake,
    And without a murmur I’ll sacrifice
    All the millions I hope to make.

    Then the maiden rested her blushing nose
    For a moment on Tommy’s chest,
    And she said, as she cuddled his crumpled form
    To her soft and capacious breast,
    “As I have been true in the years to come,
    I’ll be true in the past,” said she.
    And she winked her ear at a native bear
    That was perched on a pumpkin tree.


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