Diary of ten years eventful life of an early settler in Western Australia and also A descriptive vocabulary of the language of the aborigines/A native karobberee


To the tune of "Bachelor's fare."


Come, I'll describe you a native Karobberee:—
   Fancy some hundred or two group'd around,
All determin'd to kick up a bobbery,
   See in the middle that space of clear ground;
See the young men prepare feathers—stuck in their hair,
   Breasts ornamented with figures in chalk;
      Look how their heads are all plaster'd with red,
   How they brandish their spears, and they strut in their walk.
         Fol-de-rol, lol-de-rol, fol-de-rol, lol-de-rol,
         Fol-de-rol, lol-de-rol, fol-de-rol, lay.

Thus, it may be said, they're a fine white and red,
   As they stand painted like so many celts;
Look how their bodies all glisten and shine with oil,
   Their hammers all stuck in their fur-twisted belts;
Look at those men about, keeping a sharp look out
   After their wives, for some have two or three;
Each wife has a bag on, but no other rag on
   Except a short cloak, reaching scarce to her knee.
         Fol-de-rol, &c.

Now they ply their heels, dancing in rounds and reels,
   Fierce as if going to fight for their dear lives,
While the bye standers, more brave than highlanders,
   Beat time on their throwing-boards with their quartz knives.
With their hegha and hegha, and hogha and hogha,
   They grunt out and snort out their horrible tune;
Oh, how they dance it and round about prance it,
   And make the dust fly in the light of the moon.
         Fol-de-rol, &c.

There are old men and young men, and short men and tall men,
   And women and children, and hobble-de-hoys,
While all the young lasses, as each dancer passes,
   Keep stealing a peep at their favourite boys;
Then come sly glances, and little advances,
   For dark though their skin is, their eye-beams are bright;
But lest you should tell us the ladies grow jealous,
   Their dance being done now, we'll wish them good night.
         Fol-de-rol, &c.