Anonymous Oceania

The Shepherd

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He wore an old blue shirt the night that first we met,
An old and tattered cabbage-tree concealed his locks of jet;
His footsteps had a languor, his voice a husky tone;
Both man and dog were spent with toil as they slowly wandered home.

I saw him but a moment -- yet methinks I see him now --
While his sheep were gently feeding 'neath the rugged mountain brow.
When next we met, the old blue shirt and cabbage-tree were gone;
A brand new suit of tweed and "Doctor Dod" he had put on;
And arm in arm with him was one who strove, and not in vain,
To ease his pockets of their load by drinking real champagne.

I saw but a moment, and he was going a pace;
Shouting nobbler after nobbler, with a smile upon his face.
When next again I saw that man his suit of tweed was gone,
The old blue shirt and cabbage-tree once more he had put on;
Slowly he trudged along the road, and took the well-known track
From the station he so lately left with a swag upon his back.

I saw him but a moment, as he was walking by
With two black eyes and a broken nose and a tear-drop in his eye.

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