Monday, July 16, 2012

TOM GROGGIN by Mary Lang

These hauntingly beautiful verses were written during the 1930s by Mary Lang.  They were inspired by a signpost near Nimmatabel in the Snowy Mountains region of southeastern Australia.  The sign said 'To Tom Groggin' but it led her only to an old hut and a rotting fence.
There is, further south and higher in the mountains, an old cattle station called 'Tom Groggin'.  It was worked by highly skilled horsemen including Jack Riley, the legendary rider, who was said to have inspired Banjo Patterson's epic poem 'The Man from Snowy River.'

I was so long ago –
Surely the fathers of the oldest here
Were children when I lived.  I built a house
And made a fence and ploughed a field.  Today
A name is all of me that lingers here;
And still the proud trees stare into the creek,
And the bright Wild Mustard holds its ranks
And shakes its twisted banners in the grass.
All, all things have forgotten me; and I –
I am so old, so old, I have forgotten
If I ever knew stranger things, for now
I only know I built a little house
And made a fence and ploughed a virgin field.

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