But the years were full of changes, And a sorrow found us there; For our home amid the ranges Was not safe from searching Care. On he came, a silent creeper; And another mountain threw O'er our lives a shadow deeper Than the shade of Bukaroo.
All the farm is disappearing; For the home has vanished now, Mountain scrub has choked the clearing, Hid the furrows of the plough. Nearer still the scrub is creeping Where the little garden grew; And the old folks now are sleeping At the foot of Bukaroo.
The squatter saw his pastures wide Decrease, as one by one The farmers moving to the west Selected on his run; Selectors took the water up And all the black soil round; The best grass-land the squatter had Was spoilt by Ross's Ground.
Now many schemes to shift old Ross Had racked the squatter's brains, But Sandy had the stubborn blood Of Scotland in his veins; He held the land and fenced it in, He cleared and ploughed the soil, And year by year a richer crop Repaid him for his toil.
Between the homes for many years The devil left his tracks: The squatter pounded Ross's stock, And Sandy pounded Black's. A well upon the lower run Was filled with earth and logs, And Black laid baits about the farm To poison Ross's dogs.
It was, indeed, a deadly feud Of class and creed and race; But, yet, there was a Romeo And a Juliet in the case; And more than once across the flats, Beneath the Southern Cross, Young Robert Black was seen to ride With pretty Jenny Ross.
One Christmas time, when months of drought Had parched the western creeks, The bush-fires started in the north And travelled south for weeks. At night along the river-side The scene was grand and strange -- The hill-fires looked like lighted streets Of cities in the range.
The cattle-tracks between the trees Were like long dusky aisles, And on a sudden breeze the fire Would sweep along for miles; Like sounds of distant musketry It crackled through the brakes, And o'er the flat of silver grass It hissed like angry snakes.