Blacker than 'eer the inky waters roll
Upon the gloomy shores of sluggish Styx,
A surge of sorrow laps my leaden soul,
For that which was at "two" is now "one—six."
"Come, disappointment, come!" as has been said
By someone else who quailed 'neath Fortune's frown,
Stab to the core the heart that once has bled,
(For "heart" read "pocket")—wool, ah! wool is down.
"And in the lowest deep a lower deep,"
Thou sightless seer, indeed it may be so,
The road to—well, we know—is somewhat steep,
And who shall stay us when that road we go?
Thrice cursèd wire, whose lightning strikes to blast,
Whose babbling tongue proclaims throughout the town
The news, which, being ill, has travelled fast,
The dire intelligence that—wool is down.
A rise in copper and a rise in jute,
A fall alone in wool—but what a fall!
Jupp must have made a pile this trip, the brute,
He don't deserve such splendid luck at all.
The smiles for him—for me the scalding tears;
He's worth ten thousand if he's worth a crown,
While I—untimely shorn by Fate's harsh shears—
Feel that my game is up when wool is down.
Bolter, take back these prancing greys of thine,
Remove as well the vanquished warrior's bays,
My fortunes are not stable, they decline;
Aye, even horses taunt me with their neighs.
And thou, sweet puppy of the "Lightning" breed,
Through whose fleet limbs I pictured me renown,
Hie howling to thy former home with speed,
Thy course with me is up—for wool is down.
Why, Jane, what's this—this pile of letters here?
Such waste of stamps is really very sad.
Your birthday ball! Oh, come! not twice a year,
Good gracious me! the woman must be mad.
You'd better save expense at once, that's clear,
And send a bellman to invite the town!
There—there—don't cry; forgive my temper, dear,
But put these letters up—for wool is down.
My station "Gerringhup"—yes, that must go,
Its sheep, its oxen, and its kangaroos,
First 'twas the home of blacks, then whites, we know,
Now is it but a dwelling for "the blues."
With it I leave the brotherhood of Cash
Who form Australian Fashion's tinsel crown;
I tread along the devious path of Smash,
I go where wool has gone—down, ever down.
Thus ends my dream of greatness; not for me
The silken couch, the banquet, and the rout,
They're flown—the base residuum will be
A mutton chop and half a pint of stout—
Yet will I hold a corner in my soul
Where Hope may nestle safe from Fortune's frown.
Thou hoodwinked jade! my heart remaineth whole—
I'll keep my spirits up—though wool be down.