we bushmen cannot love -
That, like our foe, the fire-fiend,
We blaze, until a river-bend -
Nay, less, a pebble-graven groove
Where waters thread - doth bid us stay:
Our passions for a month, a week
Flare out and then they die away -
For separation, like the creek
That stays the bush fire, bars the way.
You say we
bushmen cannot love.
Well, have it so! but this I swear -
That she possessed a power to move
The dullest boor to do or dare.
But I, as being somewhat shy,
Became the target for her wit . . .
How oft in wantonness she'd pit
The blazing lances of her eye
And keener rapier of her tongue,
That carelessly made lightning play,
Until to action I was stung,
And, like a dumb beast, stood at bay . . .