The Camp of the Dark Brigade

Year: 1885

by 'Scotia'   

MANY a mile, many a mile,
Westward and northward,
All 'neath the gum-tree boughs
Camped the Six Hundred,
Where white man never strayed,
Where the bush darkest shade
O'er their corroboree made,
Met the Six Hundred.

Dogs to the right of them,
Dogs to the left of them,
Dogs in the midst of them,
Clamoured and thundered.
Theirs not to silent lie,
Theirs but to join the cry,
Piercing the midnight sky-
Yells of Six Hundred.

Boomerangs whirled in air
Roused many a native bear
That 'mid the branches there
S1eepily wondered.
Plunged in the camp-fire smoke
Many a gin's head they broke
With nullah-nullah stroke-
Noble Six Hundred!

Kangaroos right of them,
Wallaroos left of them,
Scared in their solitude
Parted and sundered,
Peered 'neath the starlight ray;
Snakes coiled in darkness lay,
Then glided still away
From the Six Hundred.

Wrapped in a 'possum skin
There many an ancient gin
Cowered with a hideous grin;
Piccaninnies wondered,
From shade of gunyah dark,
Or from 'ncath sheets of bark,
Gazed they while louder, hark!
Howled the Six Hundred.

Mourn for these warriors old;
Yea, for their knell was tolled
When first explorers bold
Hunted them onward!

                              'Scotia' (Roma)  

                              The Queenslander, 10 October 1885.