Gone the gay laughter of the old happy days,
And all because of Boola and his arrogant ways,
Who broke the good camp code that each tribe obeys.
Leader in the skill games with boomerang and spear,
Ever ready with a scowl, ready with a jeer,
Boola loved to dominate, loved to domineer.
For Boola the masterful scorned the old and wise
With his truculent questions and truculent replies;
Even the wise headman he dared to criticize.
He took married lubras and there was nothing said,
For he was quick to give a blow, he was held in dread.
They feared the wife-stealer so they beat the wives instead.
When the great drought continued they knew what caused the ill:
Some wizard of a far tribe working his evil will,
And they must send a death-band to seek him out and kill.
They called a men's council, but he did not obey.
‘Old men all yabba-yabba.’ For Boola every day
Was scornful of the elders, and went his own way.
Out at the council talk-place the conference began
To settle who was guilty and make the vengeance plan.
‘It could be that Boola,’ growled Darg the witch-man.
Then quick eyes met other eyes, and each one knew
The thinking of his neighbour, and the silence grew.
‘That fellow plenty bad,’ agreed an old pinnaroo.
The grey headman spoke to them: ‘Gather close about,
We will hold the spirit rites, we will find out.
Let Darg do his magic to see who made the drought.'
They pressed close to watch it, absorbed by the spell
Of the witch-doctor's magic, but now they knew well
How dark omens would be read and what the signs would tell.
When suddenly the fierce band burst on the camp near by
The women screamed, the dogs fled as spears began to fly,
And frantic Boola saw too late he was the one to die.
A camp moves when death comes, and they made haste to go,
No wailing for dead Boola, no tree-grave would he know;
They left him on the ground there for carrion kite and crow.