Poem ‘Brumby’s Run’

Brumby’s Run is one of my favourite Banjo Paterson poems, and was the inspiration behind my novel of the same name.

BRUMBY’S RUN by A.B. “Banjo” Paterson

Brumby is the Aboriginal word for a wild horse. At a trial in the N.S.W. Supreme Court around the time this poem was written, the Judge, hearing of Brumby horses, asked: “Who is Brumby, and where is his Run?”

It lies beyond the Western Pines
Towards the sinking sun,
And not a survey mark defines
The bounds of “Brumby’s Run”.

On odds and ends of mountain land,
On tracks of range and rock,
Where no one else can make a stand,
Old Brumby rears his stock.

A wild, unhandled lot they are
Of every shape and breed
They venture out ‘neath moon and star
Along the flats to feed;

But when the dawn makes pink the sky
And steals along the plain,
The Brumby horses turn and fly
Towards the hills again.

The traveller by the mountain-track
May hear their hoof-beats pass,
And catch a glimpse of brown and black
Dim shadows on the grass.

The eager stockhorse pricks his ears
And lifts his head on high
In wild excitement when he hears
The Brumby mob go by.

Old Brumby asks no price or fee
O’er all his wide domains:
The man who yards his stock is free
To keep them for his pains.

So, off to scour the mountain-side
With eager eyes aglow,
To strongholds where the wild mobs hide
The gully-rakers go.

A rush of horses through the trees,
A red shirt making play;
A sound of stockwhips on the breeze,
They vanish far away!                                                                                            

Ah, me! before our day is done
We long with bitter pain
To ride once more on Brumby’s Run
And yard his mob again.

The Bulletin, 21 December 1895.

5 thoughts on “Poem ‘Brumby’s Run’

  1. Pingback: Jennifer Scoullar – Author Interview | The Australian Literature Review

  2. i am using this fantasic poem to use as my feacture piece, in my year 11 english 1 folio. great poem, my all time best. great work with capturing the same feeling in the book brumby’s run, on my 5 th reading with it. ” gets better every time”

  3. Thank you SO much for your comment! Yes, I love that poem too. Your kind words about Brumby’s Run have really cheered me up! I fell off my horse last week and tore a tendon. Sitting inside on this beautiful day with my arm in a sling, feeling sorry for myself – until I read your comment. Best of luck with Year 11!

  4. One of my favourite poems! (I even have it on CD from the Man from Snowy River Arena Spectacular in 2002). Your novel ‘Brumby’s Run’ caught my attention at the book shop due to its title 😉
    I like how you used the poem as your inspiration for your novel, we are doing that at the moment at uni – using something (a title, form, theme, quote, etc) from another story/poem to inspire/create an original piece of work 🙂

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