The grass is bleached like a barmaid's hair,
As soft as her arms in the evening air,
And old Tom dances in the failing light,
A foot in day and a foot in night.
Old Tom dances; he skips like a hare;
And the rising moon had better beware
For Tom and his pockets are stuffed with rum
And he dares the moon and 'em all to come.
“Whoa there, bullocks!” he tells his feet;
“There's rum in the billy, there's rum for meat.
Up there, Baldy! Up there, Roan!”
And he talks to his feet in a bullocky's tone.
Who is that peeping through sunset eyes
As the sun sinks and the stars rise?
He thought that boy forty years dead
For he pulled the blankets over his head.
The boy looks out, his kelpie fears
Forgotten, forgotten the twisted years
And the fiend who stares from the dam's still glass;
And he lies in locks of moonlit grass.