Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Man From Snowy River Poem

The Man From Snowy River
There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around That the colt from old Regret had got away,And had joined the wild bush horses — he was worth a thousand pound,So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far Had mustered at the homestead overnight,For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,And the stock-horse snuffs the battle with delight.
There was Harrison, who made his pile when Pardon won the cup,The old man with his hair as white as snow;But few could ride beside him when his blood was fairly up He would go wherever horse and man could go.And Clancy of the Overflow came down to lend a hand,No better horseman ever held the reins;For never horse could throw him while the saddle-girths would stand He learnt to ride while droving on the plains.
And one was there, a stripling on a small and weedy beast;He was something like a racehorse undersized,With a touch of Timor pony—three parts thoroughbred at least And such as are by mountain horsemen prized.He was hard and tough and wiry—just the sort that won't say die There was courage in his quick impatient tread;And he bore the badge of gameness in his bright and fiery eye,And the proud and lofty carriage of his head.
But still so slight and weedy, one would doubt his power to stay,And the old man said, "That horse will never do For a long and tiring gallop—lad, you'd better stop away,Those hills are far too rough for such as you."So he waited, sad and wistful—only Clancy stood his friend"I think we ought to let him come," he said;"I warrant he'll be with us when he's wanted at the end,For both his horse and he are mountain bred.
"He hails from Snowy River, up by Kosciusko's side,Where the hills are twice as steep and twice as rough;Where a horse's hoofs strike firelight from the flint stones every stride,The man that holds his own is good enough.And the Snowy River riders on the mountains make their home,Where the river runs those giant hills between;I have seen full many horsemen since I first commenced to roam,But nowhere yet such horsemen have I seen."
So he went; they found the horses by the big mimosa clump,They raced away towards the mountain's brow,And the old man gave his orders, "Boys, go at them from the jump,No use to try for fancy riding now.And, Clancy, you must wheel them, try and wheel them to the right.Ride boldly, lad, and never fear the spills,For never yet was rider that could keep the mob in sight,If once they gain the shelter of those hills."
So Clancy rode to wheel them—he was racing on the wing Where the best and boldest riders take their place,And he raced his stock-horse past them, and he made the ranges ring With the stockwhip, as he met them face to face.Then they halted for a moment, while he swung the dreaded lash,But they saw their well-loved mountain full in view,And they charged beneath the stockwhip with a sharp and sudden dash,And off into the mountain scrub they flew.
Then fast the horsemen followed, where the gorges deep and black Resounded to the thunder of their tread,And the stockwhips woke the echoes, and they fiercely answered back From cliffs and crags that beetled overhead.And upward, ever upward, the wild horses held their way,Where mountain ash and kurrajong grew wide;And the old man muttered fiercely, "We may bid the mob good day, no man can hold them down the other side."
When they reached the mountain's summit, even Clancy took a pull It well might make the boldest hold their breath;The wild hop scrub grew thickly, and the hidden ground was full Of wombat holes, and any slip was death.But the man from Snowy River let the pony have his head,And he swung his stockwhip round and gave a cheer,And he raced him down the mountain like a torrent down its bed,While the others stood and watched in very fear.
He sent the flint-stones flying, but the pony kept his feet,He cleared the fallen timber in his stride,And the man from Snowy River never shifted in his seat It was grand to see that mountain horseman ride.Through the stringy barks and saplings, on the rough and broken ground,Down the hillside at a racing pace he went;And he never drew the bridle till he landed safe and sound,At the bottom of that terrible descent.
He was right among the horses as they climbed the farther hill,And the watchers on the mountain, standing mute,Saw him ply the stockwhip fiercely; he was right among them still,As he raced across the clearing in pursuit.They lost him for a moment, where two mountain gullies met In the ranges—but a final glimpse reveals On a dim and distant hillside the wild horses racing yet,With the man from Snowy River at their heels.
And he ran them single-handed till their sides were white with foam;He followed like a bloodhound on their track,Till they halted cowed and beaten; then he turned their heads for home,And alone and unassisted brought them back.But his hardy mountain pony he could scarcely raise a trot,He was blood from hip to shoulder from the spur;But his pluck was still undaunted, and his courage fiery hot,For never yet was mountain horse a cur.
And down by Kosciusko, where the pine-clad ridges raise Their torn and rugged battlements on high,Where the air is clear as crystal, and the white stars fairly blaze At midnight in the cold and frosty sky,And where around the Overflow the reed-beds sweep and sway To the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide,The Man from Snowy River is a household word today,And the stockmen tell the story of his ride.
Sorry for the long read, but this has to be a favorite! If for some reason you haven't seen this film "Man From Snowy River" you are missing out! Great riding, great horses and great scenery! I would love to have a Australian mountain horse like this! I watched this so many times and as the years have passed I have bought an Australian saddle, a bull whip like the one in here. I thought I wanted to be able to crack a whip on horseback!!! Ha Ha! I have cracked my ear, face, arm in the process and that wasn't even on horseback!! Takes some skill that I don't have! lol :)


Sarah said...

One of my VERY favorite films!!! I have the main theme on my playlist!!! Adore this one!!! Sarah

backattheranch said...

Dont forget Return to Snowy River!!! A great one also!

Desert Rose said...

I am soooo embarassed to say, I have not seen it! But it does sound like my kind of riding so I will put it on my "to see" List. Thanks for sharing!

greymare said...

Thanks for following my blog. Nice to get to know knew folks. After my son visited New Mexico, it has become one of my locations on my to visit list. Ah yes man from snowy river. Don't know how many times I have watched it and return to snowy river. Watched the TV series but it was never as good. Australia is at the top of my list and not the urbane cities but the backcountry. I would love to visit a working ranch there. Some day.

Heather said...

Kenny can crack a bull whip. He's really good at it. I on the other hand have also caught an ear and an eye and someone else's eye! Hope your still feeling good!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Oh, that is a classic movie!!! I LOVE the downhill ride! And the mountains are just beautiful.