Beside his heavy-shouldered team
thirsty with drought and chilled with rain,
he weathered all the striding years
till they ran widdershins in his brain:
Till the long solitary tracks
etched deeper with each lurching load
were populous before his eyes,
and fiends and angels used his road.
All the long straining journey grew
a mad apocalyptic dream,
and he old Moses, and the slaves
his suffering and stubborn team.
Then in his evening camp beneath
the half-light pillars of the trees
he filled the steepled cone of night
with shouted prayers and prophecies.
While past the campfire's crimson ring
the star struck darkness cupped him round.
and centuries of cattle-bells
rang with their sweet uneasy sound.
Grass is across the wagon-tracks,
and plough strikes bone beneath the grass,
and vineyards cover all the slopes
where the dead teams were used to pass.
O vine, grow close upon that bone
and hold it with your rooted hand.
The prophet Moses feeds the grape,
and fruitful is the Promised Land.
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Comments about this poem (Bullocky by Judith Wright )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
Walter de la Mare
(1873 - 1958)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(13 February 1879 - 2 March 1949)
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