Reedy River

Words: Henry Lawson

Music: Chris Kempster


Ten miles down Reedy River a pool of water lies,

And all the year it mirrors the changes in the skies.

Within that pool's broad bosom is room for all the stars;

Its bed of sand has drifted o'er countless rocky bars.


Around the lower edges there waves a bed of reeds,

Where water-rats are hidden and where the wild duck breeds,

And grassy slopes rise gently to ridges long and low,

Where groves of wattle flourish and native bluebells grow.


Beneath the granite ridges the eye may just discern

Where Rocky Creek emerges from deep green banks of fern,

And, standing tall between them, the drooping she-oaks cool

The hard, blue-tinted waters before they reach the pool.


Ten miles down Reedy River one Sunday afternoon,

I rode with Mary Campbell to that broad, bright lagoon;

We left our horses grazing till shadows climbed the peak,

And strolled beneath the she-oaks on the banks of Rocky Creek.


Then home along the river that night we rode a race,

And the moonlight lent a glory to Mary Campbell's face;

I pleaded for my future all through that moonlight ride,

Until our weary horses drew closer side by side.


Ten miles from Ryan's Crossing and five below the peak,

I built a little homestead on the banks of Rocky Creek;

I cleared the land and fenced it and ploughed the rich red loam;

My first crop was golden when I brought Mary home.


Now still down Reedy River the grassy she-oaks sigh,

The water holes still mirror the pictures in the sky

The golden sands are drifting across the rocky bars,

And over all for ever go sun and moon and stars.


But of the hut I builded there are no traces now,

The many rains have leveled the furrows of my plough.

The glad bright days have vanished, for sombre branches wave

Their wattle-blossom golden above my Mary's grave.