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When Rody Came To Ironbark

Alice Guerin Crist 1876 (Clare Castle) – 1941 (Toowoomba)

When Rody came to Ironbark, there spread a hectic glow
around the little township - a dozen years ago,
and the townsfolk were divided, twixt laughter and dismay
at the roysterin' ways of Rody - the madcap tricks he'd play.
When whisky-primed and mischief bent, he drove in wild career
the parson's sulky hitched behind O'Grady's brindled steer,
and he, and other reckless lads, with laughter, song and joke,
made life on earth a burden for all sober-minded folk.

When Rody came to Ironbark, 'twas fun to watch the girls,
Such sorting out of frills and frocks such pinning up of curls,
there were no 'bob's no 'shingles' then but ringlets floated down,
and the the curling tongs worked overtime, when Rody came to town.

And all the girls in Ironbark for Rody pined and sighed,
save little Nora Shanahan, all scorn and maiden pride,
(Now Rod was like a pine-tree, so straight and slim and tall,
but she was pink and dainty, as an apple-blossom small).

She captured Rody's wilful heart, but though he'd beg and pray,
not one soft word of hope or love would little Nora say;
but - how she prayed for Rody, she stormed high Heaven with tears
for all his sins and follies, his reckless wasted years.

In the little township chapel, when evening lights were faint,
she knelt long hours in silence - a little blue-eyed saint -
While Rody, all unknowing, went on his careless way;
but Heaven always answers when soul's like Nora's pray.

So Rody came to Ironbark proud, prosperous and neat -
a dozen hats are lifted as he drives along the street -
and Nora sits beside him, all calm and matronly;
there are four small folk behind them, and one on Nora's knee
(The boys are both like Rody - so straight and strong and tall-
but the girls are like a cluster of apple-blossoms small),
though the wild lads muse regretfully the good old days upon,
and all the township gossips say 'Another good man gone!'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:45 min read

Alice Guerin Crist

Alice Guerin Crist was an Australian poet, author and journalist. more…

All Alice Guerin Crist poems | Alice Guerin Crist Books

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