(For the benefit of ignorant "Insiders" PUNCH promises that Winton is the metropolis of the 'Never Never'.  It is situated about 150 miles west of Aramac.)

Sweet Winton! cheerful township of the plain,

Where rain and brandy cheer each labouring swain;

Where each new "hand" an early visit pays,

And every passing carrier's team delays.

How often have I wandered o'er the scene,

And marked a bushman in each doorway lean;

Bloodshot in eye, the devil he invokes,

And piles up curses on his missing "mokes".

While drunken sleep had closed his watery eyes,

The "mokes" made tracks in hobbles up Surprise.

How oft I've marked the fresh-paid drover's man,

Swear the load oath, and drain the foaming can.

Insulting grows he, as he grows more tight;

Soon the cry echoes of "A fight! A fight!"

Then to the yard all joyously repair,

To see two half-drunk bushmen mow the air;

Sometimes one hits the other, and o'ercome,

He falls insensate from the blow - and rum.

At every round the sly-grogseller winks

(A round of fight entails a round of drinks).

The squatter comes, but scorning vulgar riot,

Gets drunk in the bar-parlour on the quiet.

Here comes each "big-cheque man" from every run

'Twixt Diamantina and the setting sun.

Here, sun-burnt Bill, from near the boundary line,

Turns out his steeds, and 'shouts' Colonial wine.

For Sydney bound, his manner gay and frisky,

He drinks "Colonial", fighting shy of whisky.

Alas! poor youth, why wage unequal battle?

One week of Winton, then re-seek your cattle.

Your moral is, see here, I jot it down,

Next year when passing don't come through the town.

"Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast";

I've felt this often through the hours of rest,

While half-drunk men grind out the concertina,

Or "knock big quarters" out of the flutina.

Such are thy charms, sweet Winton!  Charms like those

Shall evermore the Queensland bushman please.

Dear PUNCH!  When Brisbane palls, if it should ever,

Come - come to Winton, in the Never Never.


* "Surprise Creek" is close to Winton, and is the Paradise of absconding 'mokes'.

 Notes by Tom Fox:

Surprise Creek is close to the town and junction with the Winton river.  Horse stealers plant the horses up this creek for rewards.  If anyone gets drunk in town, they never see their horses again without giving a large reward.