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STEVE RALPH
Shropshire, England
About Steve Ralph

 

 

 

I Saw The Man From Snowy River Ride

We sat around the cattle camp,
Before the campfires blaze,
Telling things we'd seen or we had done,
And I told how I remembered,
Back in my younger days,
When the man from Snowy River made his run,

I worked at a nearby station,
Just a temporary job,
When word came that the old man was in a fret,
It seemed his favourite pony,
Had joined the wild bush mob,
It turned out to be the colt by Old Regret,

And a dozen noted riders,
Some far better than I am,
Collected up their fixings for the ride,
And Clancy of the overflow,
Was there and what a man,
The kind of man you're proud to work beside,

And another there among us,
On a thin and wirey mount,
I must admit I hardly knew at all,
But Clancy said he'd back him ,
In a race by all accounts,
On plain or mountain, steep as any wall,

He said he hailed from Snowy River,
Where the mountain sides are steep,
And many a fancied rider takes a spill,
But the men from Snowy River,
Ride those ranges in their sleep,
And relish on the danger and the thrill,

One would scarcely believe the rating,
That
Clancy gave the man,
Nor the beast he sat on truth to tell,
But he can spot hard riders,
If anybody can,
For few of them ride harder than himself,

When we finally reached the station,
We were taken by surprise,
As riders lined the stockyard wall to wall,
There were drovers, fencers, shearers,
That had mustered for the prize,
And the old man sat there talking to them all,

When he saw our mob approaching,
Why the old man gave a cheer,
And said "now we'll see hard riding at it's best",
For
Clancy's reputation,
Had been known both far and near,
And everyone that heard it was impressed,

Well we tracked the wild bush ponies,
Until we had them in our sight,
And the old man gave his orders for the chase,
But to the thin and wiry rider,
On the horse both thin and slight,
He said I doubt you or that horse will make the pace,

But
Clancy stood his corner,
And said I think you judge him wrong,
He'll ride as hard as any that held reins,
And I'll bet my reputation,
If you let him come along,
When the rest have pulled up short, that he remains,

Well the old man nodded slowly,
And told
Clancy take the lead,
And take that weedy beast along with you,
If he lags behind then leave him,
For he's not the kind we need,
But if he keeps the pace you set then he will do,

So we chased the wild bush pony's,
For two miles or maybe three,
Across the spinniflex and burning sand,
And the man from Snowy River,
Rode with
Clancy knee to knee,
And
Clancy with a stockwhip in his hand,

Well we caught the mob of brumby's,
And we wheeled them to the right,
Just the way the old man said we must,
But they charged beneath the stockwhips,
As the mountains came in sight,
And left us choking on a cloud of dust,

As they reached the mountain foothills,
Where the sand gives way to rock,
And broken trees and fallen granite meet,
Clancy loosed the reins,
And let his pony run amok,
And the man from Snowy River matched his speed,

But as they neared close to the summit,
The old man became resigned,
That the colt from Old Regret was gone for good,
But the man from Snowy River,
And
Clancy at his side,
Continued up as quickly as they could,

Well we thought they'd start a fire,
As the sparks and splinters flew,
Each time their horses hooves clipped off a stone,
And no-one but the two of them,
Could keep that pace we knew,
So in the end they climbed that mountain side alone,

But as the summit loomed before them,
That's when
Clancy's horse refused,
No-matter how the stockwhip bit his side,
And
Clancy sat there wishing,
There was another horse to use,
As the man from Snowy River made his ride,

Oh he voiced a wild call loudly,
As he urged for greater speed,
From a horse already flying like the wind,
And his horse responded gamely,
As it answered to the need,
And continued down the mountainside with him,

When
Clancy of the overflow,
Came back among the men,
Disgusted that his horse had pulled up short,
The old man told him "
Clancy I gotta tell you friend,
You were right,
That fella's gamer than I thought",

"For he's riding down a mountain side,
As steep as any wall,
With wombat holes more widespread than the dew,
It makes you wonder how he rides that fast,
And doesn't take a fall,
When the wombat holes are hidden from his view",

As he raced between the pine trees,
And the rows of mountain ash,
Leaping over boulders in his path,
The man from Snowy River,
Cut a fine and splendid dash,
And was closing on the wild bush pony's fast,

Well we lost him from our vision,
For a moment now and then,
When two mountain crags combined to make a peak,
And each time we thought he'd fallen,
Why we'd see him ride again,
Until he had the wild mob white with sweat and beat,

Then he herded them together,
And he brought them back alone,
Tethered to the colt by Old Regret,
And the horse he rode was bloodied,
From the hip to shoulder bone,
And both of them were caked in dust and sweat,

But we pulled him from his saddle,
And we held him shoulder high,
And every voice in camp was raised in cheer,
With the old man cheering loudest,
And
Clancy at his side,
And a smile that spread across from ear to ear,

Well the man from Snowy River,
Took his reward and he left,
Back to the mountain side that he calls home,
And even
Clancy of the overflow,
Was suitably impressed,
By the way the man from Snowy River rode,

Well a lot of years have drifted by,
Since that day I know,
But even now I tell this tale with pride,
For I rode with men like
Clancy,
Of the overflow,
And I saw the man from Snowy River ride.

11-12-2002, S. E. Ralph
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without permission.



About Steve Ralph:

I am from Shropshire in England. I  have written about 600 songs and poems  since I was about ten years old. I have had three poems published so far, one which is called "The Flower," in an anthology, and two about the plight of the Australian aboriginal, which have been printed in the National Indigenous Times of Australia.

 

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