A seventy-year old mining prospector, an early pioneer of Westralian gold fields, last week-end "dropped in" on his family, in New South Wales, after sixteen years absence in New Zealand. He is on his way to try his luck once more in the West.
There's country I ain't work yet (said he), An' supposin' me health went wrong, Why, I'd hate to be missin' a bet (said he) So I got to be pushin' along. For seventy year ain't old (said he) When you're just on the edge of a find; An' there's like to be lashin's o' gold (said he) At a spot that I got in mind. From Southern Cross to the Marble Bar, From the Bar to the Golden Mile, I tramped in the old days, hard an' far, For a glimmmr of fortune's smile, But the lass weren't free with her smiles them days, So I knocks 'round Maoriland This sixteen year, an' I've trod strange ways, But I ain't struck payin' sand. Still, a man can't break with his own home folk; So I best look in as I pass, For a bit of a yarn an' a bit of a smoke, An' maybe a friendly glass. Then off again for the game's own sake, While I still feels hale an' strong; For a man can't tell when his luck will break; So I got to be pushin' along. To be lingerin' here ain't right (said he), For they'll bury me deep some day; An' I'd not be astonished a sight (said he) If the color showed up in the clay When they're givin' me grave a pat (said he) An' I'm singin' me glory song. Me? missin' a strike like that! (said he) No; I'd best be pushin' along.
|Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2004|