Hay and Hell and Booligal

Andrew Barton Paterson 1864 (Orange, New South Wales) – 1941 (Sydney, New South Wales)

"You come and see me, boys," he said;
"You'll find a welcome and a bed
And whisky any time you call;
Although our township hasn't got
The name of quite a lively spot --
You see, I live in Booligal.
"And people have an awful down
Upon the district and the town --
Which worse than hell itself the call;
In fact, the saying far and wide
Along the Riverina side
Is 'Hay and Hell and Booligal'.

"No doubt it suits 'em very well
To say its worse than Hay or Hell,
But don't you heed their talk at all;
Of course, there's heat -- no one denies --
And sand and dust and stacks of flies,
And rabbits, too, at Booligal.

"But such a pleasant, quiet place --
You never see a stranger's face;
They hardly ever care to call;
The drovers mostly pass it by --
They reckon that they'd rather die
Than spend the night in Booligal.

"The big mosquitoes frighten some --
You'll lie awake to hear 'em hum --
And snakes about the township crawl;
But shearers, when they get their cheque,
They never come along and wreck
The blessed town of Booligal.

"But down to Hay the shearers come
And fill themselves with fighting-rum,
And chase blue devils up the wall,
And fight the snaggers every day,
Until there is the deuce to pay --
There's none of that in Booligal.

"Of course, there isn't much to see --
The billiard-table used to be
The great attraction for us all,
Until some careless, drunken curs
Got sleeping on it in their spurs,
And ruined it, in Booligal.

"Just now there is a howling drought
That pretty near has starved us out --
It never seems to rain at all;
But, if there should come any rain,
You couldn't cross the black-soil plain --
You'd have to stop in Booligal."

 

"We'd have to stop!" With bated breath
We prayed that both in life and death
Our fate in other lines might fall;
"Oh, send us to our just reward
In Hay or Hell, but, gracious Lord,
Deliver us from Booligal!"

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
Collection  Edit     
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

84 Views

Andrew Barton Paterson

Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson, was an Australian bush poet, journalist and author. He wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, focusing particularly on the rural and outback areas, including the district around Binalong, New South Wales, where he spent much of his childhood. Paterson's more notable poems include "Clancy of the Overflow" (1889), "The Man from Snowy River" (1890) and "Waltzing Matilda" (1895), regarded widely as Australia's unofficial national anthem. more…

All Andrew Barton Paterson poems | Andrew Barton Paterson Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Andrew Barton Paterson poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "Hay and Hell and Booligal" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 30 Sep. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/2529/hay-and-hell-and-booligal>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »

    Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.