The drought had spread her talon’s cruel,
For the brush and scrub was tinder dry,
The scorching wind with venom blew
Beneath a molten arid sky.
For months on end there’d been no rain
And with stock water dwindling fast,
The squatter had to shift his sheep
To where he hoped the water now would last.
The squatter gazed with grave concern
To where a puff of smoke was seen,
Now he was twenty miles from home
And the smoke lay in between.
To his wife he spoke before he left
And he saw her with premonition shiver,
Should a bushfire come while I’m away,
Take the kids down to the river.
The distant smoke now gathered strength
And billowed upwards in the air,
The tongues of flame quickly followed suit
And left the country black and bare.
It swept across the scrubby plain
Leaving black destruction as it went,
All that lay within it’s path that day,
Would soon know what desolation meant.
The animals and birds were terrified
And before it’s savage fury fled,
Some would live to breed again
While so many more lay dead.
The stock there trapped from fence within
Perished sadly in the flames,
For bushfire, no compassion shows
For property stock or names.
The squatters all from near and far
Along with all their men,
Gathered now to meet the flames
And try to put them out again.
The fighters fought those fearful flames
With every available appliance,
But the bushfire roared with strength anew
And like angry dragons hissed defiance.
On it’s path from ranges wide
With tall mountains full in view,
It hit the timber with a rush
And it’s anger voiced anew.
It leapt across the timbered creek
Like a charger to the frey,
And exploded on a mountain top
Over five hundred yards away.
The very air seemed now on fire
And as it crossed the mountain’s brow,
It was an inferno from the jaws of hell,
Only God could stop it now.
It roared and crackled through the trees
With all things blackened in it’s wake,
It was closing in on the squatter’s home
With the squatter’s family’s life at stake.
The river now was their only hope
But she had left their run to late,
So quick was the fire travelling now,
It seemed that death must be their fate.
The squatter’s wife with children two
Now huddled petrified with fear,
Why was it that she had to die
Along with those she loved so dear.
But up above those clouds of smoke
Other clouds were building too,
Storm clouds laden full with rain
And the wind stronger now it blew.
Then as if by some signal given
With the smoke all swirling higher,
The wind swung round to face the flames
And blew back that wall of fire.
While wind and flames in death struggles fought
And peril seemed at it’s worst,
It seemed it was an act of God
When that mighty rain cloud burst.
Now there came after months of drought
A mighty clap of thunder,
And down in torrents poured the rain
To tear those living flames asunder.
Back and down the flames were forced
By the sheer weight of water,
The squatter’s wife with hope renewed
Clutched tight her son and daughter.
Then down the track a welcome sound
Among the thunder’s sweet refrain,
The squatter on his weary horse
Came galloping through the rain.
As he sprang down on the blackened sod
In his eyes were tears of joy,
For running out to meet him there
Was his daughter, wife and little boy.
“ Thank God thank God,” the squatter cried,
And never truer words were spoken,
For with family safe and fire put out
And the drought at last was broken.