Ode to a red gum
I stood astride the ranges four hundred years or more,
My limbs reach out to fight for light
and make me forest lord.
From hungry ground I drew my blood
to quench a fiery thirst,
The granite rocks around me - my roots smashed into earth.
They came with sombre faces - had murder in their eye,
Cursing as they fought me - swore I would surely die.
Dark was near "farewell my mates" - I thundered to the ground,
And swore an oath - "four hundred years - my soul will be around.
Ten thousand tons a week I bore as timber on in a bridge,
Across the Kiewa river - far from my native ridge.
And down the years I fought the loads and twisted bucked and kicked,
"You've worked me hard you bastards, but I am never licked'.
Treat me now with reverence- for I've surely done it tough,
Of bucking twisting fighting, I've really had enough.
A long grand dining table, is my final place of rest,
Proud that I am still class'ed - a king among the best.
Take me, share me, love me, help keep away the tears
I'll be true to your own family for another hundred years