Death of "The Last of His Tribe" by David Flanagan

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They watched o'er the flight of his wandering soul
   To the realm of the gone-before;
For they knew he was nearing the coveted goal, ---
   That he stood at the open door:
   At the verge of the open door.

And they tenderly bent o'er his languishing head
   To catch what his lips might say;
Ere the soul of "the last of his tribe" had fled   
   To the land of eternal day:
   Of a lovely eternal day.

They caught at the half-uttered murmurs that fell,
   Like the drops from a failing source;
And still as they hearkened could randomly tell
   Where his wandering thoughts held their course:
   Their restless and volatile course.

He was far away back in his youthful days,
   In the spring of a manful might;   
Once more in the battle he won the praise
   Of his tribe as the foe took flight ---
   From his nullah and spear took flight.

Again he was far from his tropical home,
   In search of a happier spot;
Now eastward; now westward; still home he would come;
   For a cheerier place there was not:
   A home like his own there was not.

And he joined in the chase of the swift kangaroo;
   And he speared the shy fish in the stream;
But he suddenly started --- his journey was through, ---
   And he smiled like a child in a dream:
   Like an innocent child in a dream.

And the watchers knew as the smile died away,
   That the old man's spirit had fled;
And the spear and the boomerang useless lay ---
   For "the last of his tribe" was dead:   
   Of the tribe he had mourned was dead!

* Having had the pleasure, not long ago, of reading the late Henry Kendall's fine poem, "The Last of His Tribe," the thought struck me that he might have written also about the death of that unlucky representative of his dying race.

First published in The Queenslander, 28 January 1888

Author: nothing is known about the author of this poem.

Note: you can read the text of Henry Kendall's poem here.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 28, 2011 8:10 AM.

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