|Scots of the Riverina|
one of Australia's finest and best loved bush writers composed this
beautiful poem. Set in the Riverina District of New South Wales, it
tells the tale of a stubborn old Scot and his wayward son.
The tune is by Melbourne musician Ade Mons
boy cleared out to the city from his home at harvest time
were Scots of the Riverina and to run from home was a crime
The old man burned his letters. The first
and the last he burned
And he scrubbed his name from the bible
when the old wife's back was turned.
A year went by
and another and the fruit went down the line
They heard the
boy had enlisted but the old man gave no sign
His name must
never be mentioned on the farm near Gundagai,
A Scot of the
Riverina with ever the kirk hard by.
The boy came
home on his final leave and the township's bonfires burned
arms were round him but the old man's back was turned.
tried to sway him till the old man raised his hand
A Scot of the
Riverina, and hard to understand.
boy was killed in Flanders where the best and bravest died
were tears in the Graham homestead and grief in Gundagai
the old man ploughed at daybreak, and the old man ploughed till the mirk
were farrows of pain in the orchard while the household went to the
lamp in the rafters dimly and dimly burned
And the old
man died at the table while the old wife's back was turned
Face down with
his bare arms folded, he sank with his wild grey hair
on the open bible with a name rewritten there.