A Chance

Year: 1847

I want a situation as a shepherd, be it known,
On a comfortable station--not too far from town;
The country must be timberless, the waters full of game,
(For I like a little shooting), and the blacks extremely tame.
For fifty pounds a year with a stranger I shall strive,
But I wouldn't mind engaging with a friend at forty-five;
I'll only take a slender flock,--a hundred ewes or rams,--

And cannot treat with any man who basely counts his lambs.

My ration must be varied with poultry, soup, and fish, 

And to my table carried at whatever time I wish:

Then--if the tea is gunpowder1, the water filter'd clear,

And the sugar English loaf--why, I'll dispense with bottled beer.


My hut must be of weather-boards, and kept in good repair,--

I must decline the task myself of patching here and there;

For when a man brings home his flock, 'twould be a sorry joke

To waste the time that Providence intended for a smoke.


I can't suppose a civilised employer will neglect

Those moderate indulgencies we shepherds now expect;

A glass of decent claret, a cigar, a saddle horse,

And olives with my wine, are indispensable, of course.


I don't think I'll engage at first for longer than a week,-

By that time I shall know if it’s the pleasant berth I seek.

All letters (duly paid) must be address'd to "Modesty"-

At home at the "Victoria" from two o'clock to three.          

                                        Moreton Bay Courier  30/10/47, -3



1 'Gunpowder' is a form of rolled up tea popular in the 1800s.