The trooper's mind was reading The love-page of his life -- His love for Mary Wylie Ere she was Blackman's wife; He sorrowed for the sorrows Of the heart a rival won, For he knew that there was trouble Out there on Blackman's Run.
The sapling shades had lengthened, The summer day was late, When Blackman met the trooper Beyond the homestead gate. And if the hand of trouble Can leave a lasting trace, The lines of care had come to stay On poor old Blackman's face.
`Not good day, Trooper Campbell, It's a bad, bad day for me -- You are of all the men on earth The one I wished to see. The great black clouds of trouble Above our homestead hang; That wild and reckless boy of mine Has joined M'Durmer's gang.
`Oh! save him, save him, Campbell! I beg in friendship's name! For if they take and hang him, The wife would die of shame. Could Mary or her sisters Hold up their heads again, And face a woman's malice Or claim the love of men?
`And if he does a murder 'Twere better we were dead. Don't take him, Trooper Campbell, If a price be on his head; But shoot him! shoot him, Campbell, When you meet him face to face, And save him from the gallows, And us from that disgrace.'
`Now, Tom,' cried Trooper Campbell, `You know your words are wild. Though he is wild and reckless, Yet still he is your child; So bear up in your trouble, And meet it like a man, And tell the wife and daughters I'll save him if I can.'
The sad Australian sunset Had faded from the west; But night brings darker shadows To hearts that cannot rest; And Blackman's wife sat rocking And moaning in her chair. `I cannot bear disgrace,' she moaned; `Disgrace I cannot bear.
`In hardship and in trouble I struggled year by year To make my children better Than other children here. And if my son's a felon How can I show my face? I cannot bear disgrace; my God, I cannot bear disgrace!