This poem refers to WW1 and is inspired by the feelings of Australian Light Horsemen who, because of quarantine regulations, had to leave their horses in the Middle East on their return to Australia.
The struggle for freedom has ended they say,
The days of fatigue and Remorse,
But our hearts one and all are in memory today,
We are losing our old friend, the Horse.
The old quadruped that has carried us thro’
The sand ridden caravan track
And shared in the charge of the gallant and true
With the boys who will never come back.
Oh those long weary days thro’ a miniature hell
Short of water and nothing to eat,
Each hour we climbed down for a few minutes’ spell
And dozed safe and sound and your feet.
When the enemy shrapnel broke overhead,
As we passed up that Valley of Death,
You never once slackened in that hail of lead
Though the boldest of all held their breath.
But we never forgot you, old Comrade and friend,
When the QM Dump hove in sight.
What the Buckshee to Gippo’s we scored in the end
And your rations were doubled that night.
Then came the long journey, the greatest of all,
The cavalry stunt of the world.
The sons of Australia had answered the call
And the Ensign of Freedom unfurled.
And now we are leaving you footsore and worn
To the land where the Mitchell grass grew,
Where you frolicked like lambs in the sweet scented morn,
To the song of the Dismal Curlew.
So farewell to the Yarraman old warhorse, farewell,
Be you mulga bred chestnut or bay.
If there’s a hereafter for horses as well
Then may we be with you some day.
© Australian Light Horse Association Ltd