“Ballad of the Drover (Death of Harry Dale)”

Author: Henry Lawson
Earliest date: 1968
Keywords: death river drowning dog horse Australia
Found in: Australia


Harry Dale, the drover, is heading home after many months away. He comes to a river in flood. He tries to cross, but is swept from his horse. His dog leaps in to save him, but is also washed away. Now "in the lonely homestead the girl shall wait in vain"


This piece has often been included in school readers in Australia, and has therefore achieved popularity perhaps beyond what its merits warrant. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Meredith/Anderson, pp. 191-192, 206, 269-270, "Ballad of the Drover" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
  2. BI, MA191