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Van Diemen's Land

Cara Dillon

Come all you gallant poachers who ramble void of care,
Who wander out on a moonlit night with your dog, your gun and snare,
The hare and lofty pheasant you have at your command,
Not thinking of your long career spend on Van Dieman's land.

Poor Thomas Brown from Nenagh town, John Murphy and Poor Joe,
Where three determined poachers, the country well does know,
By the keepers of the land, one night, at last they were trepanned,
And for fourteen years transported unto Van Dieman's Land.

The first day that we landed upon that fatal shore,
The planters gathered around us, they might be twenty score,
They ranked us off like horses and sold us out of hand,
They yoked us to a plough, brave boys, to plough Van Dieman's Land.

Often when I slumber, I have a pleasant dream,
I 'm lying on the cold green grass down by your purling stream,
Oh, wondering through the maid of fair with my sweetheart by the hand,
Then I awaken broken-hearted upon Van Dieman's Land.

Fourteen years is a long long time, that is our fatal doom,
For nothing more the poaching got no all that so we done,
You give up dog, gun and snare and the poaching, every man
If you only knew the hardship upon Van Dieman's Land.

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