|South Australian Weekly Chronicle Saturday 24 December 1881 p. 2S.|
TOM LISTER'S LUCK ; A STORY OF TWO CHRISTMAS EVES.
"Well, he was a sort of chap as used to go about from station to station, writin' letters home, and verses to their girls, and other things for the station hands," was the reply. " I did hear say that he was a brother of the chap as wrote " Black-Eyed Susan," and that he was printer. He was found dead in a turnip-field near Bullarook over on the Victoria side, near Ballarat. Howsomever Frank the Poet got hold of the yarn, and he wrote some verses about it that sounds much better than I could tell you. So if you don't mind, I'll just sing 'em."
Even the potential Mr. Jackson signified his approval of this proceeding, and by way of marking his appreciation of Jemmy's narrative walked to his bunk, and produced from the head thereof a bottle of " pain-killer." From this, he poured a few drops into a pannican, added some cold tea, and handed it to Jemmy, who drank it with as grateful an appreciation as though it had been Krug or Roederer.
"Well, here goes," said Jemmy, bursting in median res : —
A squatter he stood at his garden gate,
The sun was down, and 'twas getting late ;
On a board near the fence was written clear
"Travellers are welcome here."
"Now you can put in any chorus you like, boys; give it mouth, and make the 'possums jump !" In response to which each man sang his favorite burden in the style known an a Dutch medley, and rewarded the soloist with unlimited applause when their lungs gave out. Bandy Jemmy looked round in gratified approval, and continued—
Then he called to his super, Squinting Joe,
And said, "That horrible board down throw ;
While Morgan lived I kept it there,
But now he's dead not a rap I care."
Just then there over the plain did drag
A traveller, painfully humping his swag,
Who said, "I straight for your run did steer.
For travellers all are welcome here !"
"Go, go, you scoundrel !" the squatter cried,
"No more my patience shall now be tried ;
The ruffian Morgan is dead, so clear,
No longer your tribe is welcome here !''
Then the swagman took from his blankets red
A box of matches, and thus be said—
Though poor Dan Morgan lies dead in his track,
He's left two mates named Bell & Black.
"You can mark their brand at night in the sky,
As the red flame runs when the wind is high,
And still as it travels its work you read—
A squatter lamenting his burnt-up feed !"
"Stay, stay, my good fellow, 'tis only chaff"—
The squatter said, "just to have a laugh ;
Go up to the cook and he'll see you right ;
And of course you can sleep in the hut to-night !'
Now all you squatters attention pay,
And mark the meaning of what I say ;
Don't bully a swagman, or, to your grief
You'll find grass scarcer than mutton or beef !
The applause attendant on this delectable ditty was loud and prolonged. Mr. Bill Jackson rewarded the vocalist with another nobbler of "painkiller." The murmur of admiration had not subsided when a faint "Coo-ee" was heard from the river, on the banks of which the rouseabout's hut was situated...