THE AXE-MAN





High on the hills, where the tall trees grow,

There lives an axeman that I know.

From his little hut by a ferny creek,

Day after day, week after week,

He goes each morn with his shining axe,

Trudging along by the forest tracks;

And he chops and he chops till the daylight goes--

High on the hills, where the blue-gum grows.



(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip! . . Chop!)

There's a log to move and a branch to lop.

Now to the felling! His sharp axe bites

Into a tree on the forest heights,

And scarce for a breath does the axeman stop--

(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip! . . Chop!)

Bell-birds watch him; and in the fern

Wallabies listen awhile, and turn

Back through the bracken, and off they hop.

(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip! . . Chop!)

Patient and tireless, blow on blow

The axeman swings as the minutes go;

While the echoes ring from the mountain-top.

(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip! . . Chop!)



Round about him the rabbits play,

Skipping and scampering all the day,

And the sweet young grass by the logs they crop.

(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip! . . Chop!)



Crimson parrots above him climb,

Chattering, chattering all the time,

As down from the branches the twigs they drop.

(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip! Chop!)

Steadily, surely, on he goes,

Shaking the tree with his mighty blows:

There's never a pause and there's never a stop.

(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip! . . Chop!)



Out from the bush beyond is heard

The swaggering song of the butcher-bird

Seeking a joint for his butcher's shop.

(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip! . . Chop!)

Deeper and deeper the cut creeps in,

While the parrots shriek with a deafening din,

And the chips fly out with a flip and a flop.

(Chip! Chop! Chip! Chop!)

Yellow robins come flocking round,

Watching the chips as they fall to ground,

Darting to catch the grubs that drop.

(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip! . . Chop!)



The blows come quicker. The axe-biade hums,

Stand well back, there, before she comes!

Hark! How the splinters crack and pop--

(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip! . . Chop!)

Listen! Listen! She's creaking now!

Look, high up, at that trembling bough!

Another second, and down she'll smash,

Shaking the earth with a mighty crash;

Look at her! Look at her! (Chip! Chop!

Chip! . . . . . . . .Chip!)

Wee--E--E--E--E--E---





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