Conde had come with us all the way —
Eight hundred miles — but the fortnight's rest
Made him fresh as a youngster, the sturdy bay!
And Lurline was looking her very best.
Weary and footsore, the cattle strayed
'Mid the silvery saltbush well content;
Where the creeks lay cool 'neath the gidya's shade
The stock-horses clustered, travel-spent.
In the bright spring morning we left them all —
Camp, and cattle, and white, and black —
And rode for the Range's westward fall,
Where the dingo's trail was the only track.
Slow through the clay-pans, wet to the knee,
With the cane-grass rustling overhead;
Swift o'er the plains with never a tree;
Up the cliffs by a torrent's bed.
Bridle on arm for a mile or more
We toiled, ere we reached Bindanna's verge
And saw — as one sees a far-off shore —
The blue hills bounding the forest surge.
An ocean of trees, by the west wind stirred,
Rolled, ever rolled, to the great cliff's base;
And its sound like the noise of waves was heard
'Mid the rocks and the caves of that lonely place.
. . . . .
We recked not of wealth in stream or soil
As we heard on the heights the breezes sing;
We felt no longer our travel-toil;
We feared no more what the years might bring.