Lex McLennan

Gulf Road

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The old rough road, the Gulf road, it's thousand miles were spread
across the plains and rivers, across the ridges red;
it heard the horse-bells tinkle and the songs of the pioneers
the long road, the Gulf road, that's lost among the years.

From Burketown to Rockhampton- long days, long leagues between;
hazards of quick-sand crossings, of swamp tracts dank and green;
the barriers of the ranges, the roll of skybound plains-
the road to new horizons that swelled the leapihng veins.

The gaunt red dingo knew it, the wild-eyes Flinder steer;
the hunting myall crossed it with boomerang and spear;
steel shoe and red wheel seared it while the timid Kangaroo
stood by and watched with wonder the wagon trains come through.

The rush of ringing cattle beneath the dust-clouds pall;
the fevered gold-rush streaming, the Gulf road knew it all;
the graves of sun-bronzed bushmen who dared the drought and flood-
the danger road, the Gulf road, was salted with their blood.

Upon the dark Fitzroy the dawn still routs the shades,
and over Burketown roof-tops the 'Morning Glory' fades,
and still, along the Flinders range, wild the wild-eyes steers;
but the old road, the Gulf road is lost among the years.

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