A PLEA FOR MERCY
By John Carins
We watched the herds increasing, unchecked as years went by
Now their halcyon days are ended for the wild horse herds must die.
They have strayed upon the highways so the callous road hogs say
To remove this equine menace we must sweep the herds away.
So one and all must fall before the gunshots fiery blast
For the horses' day is ended; his usefulness is past.
A band of eager hunters is gathered for the fray
For the old blood lust still lingers in the hearts of men today.
And they welcome this occasion to test their murderous skill
On the poor defenceless brumbies which have never done them ill
The sires and dams and playful foals so innocent and free
Each one must fall the victim to the deadly three-o-three.
For the edict has been issued that the whole unbroken lot
Must be slain by hired assassins and their bodies left to rot.
They drank our loaming water and spoilt each cycle track
But we still forgave the brumbies when we cast our memories back
To the days when men came questing, an avid human tide
To reap the golden harvest from fields new found and wide.
In those days we chased the rainbow's end o'er many a desert track
And the hardy little brumbies took us there and brought us back.
Well and faithfully they served us in cart and heavy dray
So we make our plea for mercy for the brumby herds today.
We won't long survive their passing; our race too is nearly run
And soon we'll find our long last rest beyond the setting sun.
But still while one of us remains upon this earth below
It won't be wise for one who shared this crime to let him know
Or he'll hear his ancestry imputed by an old Australian word
Should he dare to boast about the time he shot the brumbly herd.
Return to Various Poets (who died post 1955) page