Dawn, so stirs the sleeping camp,
So starts the drovers day,
Now breakfast by the firelight glow,
Then move the mob away.
The cook has long since been astir,
We don’t know when he rests,
So when his humour’s wearing thin,
We leave him from our jests.
The tailer’s run the horses in
So now there’s no delay,
We roll our swags then saddle up
And move the mob away.
Just string them slowly off the camp,
Don’t let them go too fast,
The boss is stationed at the lead
To count them going past.
A thousand head he has in charge
And there must never be
Some careless, unaccounted loss
When comes delivery.
While later while he goes ahead
To plot a nightly camp,
We’ll poke them on through dust and heat,
Or maybe in the damp.
The wagonette bumps slowly by
With cook and all his wares,
While jogging closely at the rear,
The tailer with the spares.
We’ll graze them slowly on to camp
Near closing of the day,
Then gather round the open fire
And yarn some time away.
Night, so ends another day
But duty cannot slack,
Two men will ride and watch all night,
To poke the stragglers back.
But if perchance some sudden scare,
Should make them rush tonight,
(One instant puts the mob afoot
In swift and awesome flight.)
Such will test the drovers skill,
Albeit his courage too,
To let the nighthorse have its head
And ride the danger through.
For he must swiftly reach the lead
And wheel them from a wing,
To turn them round inside the tail,
To make the bullock’s ring.
So now to get them settled down
Before the break of day,
Then breakfast by the firelight’s glow,
And - move the mob away.
Dunstan Verse Summary