The Road to Hogan's Gap

Now look, you see, it's this way like --
You cross the broken bridge
And run the crick down, till you strike
The second right-hand ridge.

The track is hard to see in parts,
But still it's pretty clear;
There's been two Injun hawkers' carts
Along that road this year.

Well, run that right-hand ridge along --
It ain't, to say, too steep --
There's two fresh tracks might put you wrong
Where blokes went out with sheep.

But keep the crick upon your right,
And follow pretty straight
Along the spur, until you sight
A wire and sapling gate.

Well, that's where Hogan's old grey mare
Fell off and broke her back;
You'll see her carcass layin' there,
Jist down below the track.

And then you drop two mile, or three,
It's pretty steep and blind;
You want to go and fall a tree
And tie it on behind.

And then you pass a broken cart
Below a granite bluff;
And that is where you strike the part
They reckon pretty tough.

But by the time you've got that far
It's either cure or kill,
So turn your horses round the spur
And face them up the hill.

For look, if you should miss the slope
And get below the track,
You haven't got the slightest hope
Of ever gettin' back.

An' half way up you'll see the hide
Of Hogan's brindled bull;
Well, mind and keep the right-hand side.
The left's too steep a pull.

And both the banks is full of cracks;
An' just about as dark
You'll see the last year's bullock tracks
Where Hogan drew the bark.

The marks is old and pretty faint --
O'ergrown with scrub and such;
Of course the track to Hogan's ain't
A road that's travelled much.

But turn and run the tracks along
For half a mile or more,
And then, of course, you can't go wrong --
You're right at Hogan's door.

When first you come to Hogan's gate
He mightn't show perhaps;
He's pretty sure to plant, and wait
To see it ain't the traps.

I wouldn't call it good enough
To let your horses out;
There's some that's pretty extra rough
Is livin' round about.

It's likely, if your horses did
Get feedin' near the track,
It's going to cost at least a quid
Or more to get them back.

So, if you find they're off the place,
It's up to you to go
And flash a quid in Hogan's face --
He'll know the blokes that know.

But listen -- if you're feelin' dry,
Just see there's no one near,
And go and wink the other eye
And ask for ginger beer.

The blokes come in from near and far
To sample Hogan's pop;
They reckon once they breast the bar
They stay there till they drop.

On Sundays you can see them spread
Like flies around the tap.
It's like that song "The Livin' Dead"
Up there at Hogan's Gap.

They like to make it pretty strong
Whenever there's a chance;
So when a stranger comes along
They always hold a dance.

There's recitations, songs, and fights --
A willin' lot you'll meet.
There's one long bloke up there recites;
I'll tell you he's a treat.

They're lively blokes all right up there,
It's never dull a day.
I'd go meself if I could spare
The time to get away.

      * * * * *

The stranger turned his horses quick.
He didn't cross the bridge;
He didn't go along the crick
To strike the second ridge;

He didn't make the trip, because
He wasn't feeling fit.
His business up at Hogan's was
To serve him with a writ.

He reckoned, if he faced the pull
And climbed the rocky stair,
The next to come might find his hide
A landmark on the mountain side,
Along with Hogan's brindled bull
And Hogan's old grey mare!

This work is in the public domain in Australia because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council - Duration of Copyright (August 2014).

This work is also in the public domain in the United States because it was in the public domain in Australia in 1996, and no copyright was registered in the U.S. (This is the combined effect of Australia having joining the Berne Convention in 1928, and of 17 USC 104A with its critical date of January 1, 1996.)