The Horse Teams

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The lorries have taken over The tasks of the western roads The mobs of the overland drover The wool of the ten ton loads In a world that is fraught with changes No more do we hear on the plains On the sandhill edge, on the ranges The chink of the wagon chains It is only in idle fancies And only in wistful dreams That we hear in those vast expanses The tramp of the twelve horse teams And see where the sunlight quivers The fall of the greenhide whips Where down by the border rivers Come rocking the Queensland clips But who can forget the beauty Of that long and patient yoke All collared and chained for duty An hour ‘ere the magpies woke The proud heads bent in endeavour The shoulders taking the strain With never a balk and never The shame of an idle chain And who can forget them splashing Their way through the swamps in flood With spreaders behind them thrashing And the great wheels caked in mud And surely you still remember The campfire’s golden spread And the last of its dying embers And the bells where the tired teams fed By the collar galls on their shoulders That tell of the testing years These were the nation moulders And these were the pioneers Now they rest in some golden farness Knee deep in the asphodels Where none shall buckle their harness And none shall follow their bells Will Ogilvie