The Muster


Come, mount ye your horses, away let us ride,
For we’ve many a mile ere the eventide;
The cattle have strayed to the distant plain,
And we must drive them in ere we draw the rein.
So we’re off, we’re off, we’re off,
With the stockwhip in our hand,
And oh, for the fun of a cattle-hunt
With a rollicking bushman band!

Across the gully and over the range,
With a plunge through a creek for a cooling change;
Now over a log or a rock we leap,
O’er hill and on level our pace we keep.
With a gallop, a gallop, a gallop
And a jolly song on our lips,
To the tune of the hoofs and the crashing boughs,
And the ringing crack of the whips.

See the wild young scrubbers come tearing in,
Then away they head, but the tail-mob win;
The horses swerve, and there’s many a spill,
But the muster goes on with a shout and a will.
With a yeh, hallo, ya-eh!
And danger full in the face,
And a rageful charge of a snorting bull
But giving zest to the chase.


Little is known about Emily Heron, except that she used Australie as her pen name and she lived in Australia over two hundred years ago. This poem, “The Muster,” was written ca. 1800, and it appears in Cowgirl Poetry: One Hundred Years of Ridin’ and Rhymin’, published by Gibbs Smith.