Oh, Bill and Joe to the north have gone,
A green shirt on their back;
There are not many ewes and lambs
Along Kokoda track.
There are not many ewes and lambs,
But men in single file
Like sheep along a mountain pad
Walk mile on sweating mile;
And each half-hour they change the lead,
Though I have never read
Where any fat bell-wether was
Shot, in the mountains, dead.
The only sheep they muster there
Leap through the mind at night;
'Twould be as red as marking time
To change green shirt for white.
And though Bill dreams of droving now
On the drought-coloured plain,
There's little need to tap the glass
Or pray for it to rain.
They have no lack of water there
But there is a stinging tail,
For men lie dying in the grass
Along Kokoda trail.