A Departing Dirge

Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant 1864 (Bridgwater, Somerset) – 1902 (Pretoria)



Girls in town and boys out back,
I've rolled up my little pack,
And on june's chill wintry gales
Sail from pleasant New South Wales.
Ere I go - a doggerel song
To bid the whole caboose 'So-long!'

Saddle-gear and horses sold -
Fetched but scanty stock of gold -
Scanty!! yet the whole lot
Publicans and Flossies got.
Since I in this country landed
Ne'er before was I so 'stranded'.

Now I'm leaving Sydney's shore
Harder up than e'er before;
A keen appetite I feel
To taste a bit o' British veal;
And let's trust, across the foam
They have a fatted calf at home.

From duns and debts (once safe on board)
Pray deliver me, oh Lord!
Here's the burden of my song:
'Good-bye, old girl!  Old chap, So-long!'
Hardest loss of all I find
To leave the good old horse behind.
So-long, 'Cavalier!'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 29, 2023

46 sec read
68

Quick analysis:

Scheme AABBCC DDEEFF GGHHII JJCCKKX
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 767
Words 151
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 6, 6, 6, 7

Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant

Harry "Breaker" Harbord Morant (born Edwin Henry Murrant, 9 December 1864 – 27 February 1902) was an Anglo-Australian drover, horseman, bush poet and military officer, who was convicted and executed for murder during the Second Anglo-Boer War. While serving with the Bushveldt Carbineers during the Second Anglo-Boer War, Lieutenant Morant was arrested and court-martialed for war crimes—one of the first such prosecutions in British military history. According to military prosecutors, Morant retaliated for the death in combat of his commanding officer with a series of revenge killings against both Boer POWs and many civilian residents of the Northern Transvaal. more…

All Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant poems | Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant Books

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