June 2012 Archives

Tumut by Will M. Fleming

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Athwart fair fields long shadows fall;  
Slow magpies croon their homing call;  
   The purple hills
Beneath an opalescent sky
Like dreams of peace quiescent lie;
   High mountain-rills
Are here become sweet, gentle streams,
Where, silvered o'er, the sunset gleams.

Slim, silent poplars, spires of gold,
In regal calm their beauty hold
   Beneath the blue
That, darkening to the touch on night,
Shows dusted points of distant light
   Just twinkling through
Like fairies peeping down to see
How perfect haunts of man may be.

As incense rising softly there
The hearthside smoke ascends the air
   And clings above;
Close-gathered by the eventide
Sweet peace and happiness abide
   In tender love.
For beauty here lies in repose   
As fragrance clings around an rose.      

First published
in The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 June 1928

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

The Things Old Men Collect by Jim Grahame

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My shelf is crammed with broken pipes
   And old tobacco tins;
The lapel of my vest is bright
   With shining rows of pins;
I fear that I am growing old
   By signs that I detect,
For I am hoarding odds and ends ---
   The things old men collect.

I seem to love a shabby coat.
   With elbows frayed and torn:
I have a dozen styles in hats
   That someone else has worn;
And hanging round are shirts and pants
   That all show some defect;
And here and there a walking-stick ----
   The kind old men collect.

I've tins of nails and bolts and screws,
   And little coils of twine;
A score of keys for lock and latch
   That fit no door of mine;
My shaving mirror lacks a frame,
   It's dim, and can't reflect
Those lines and wrinkles on my face
   That all old men collect.

I keep two old and faithful dogs,
   And some domestic pets:
One likes to see these things about
   The older that one gets.
I'd have them all inside with me,
   But someone might object;
They do not know the joy there's in
   The friends old men collect.

Though time is quickly flying on,
   Its haste does not annoy.
There's lots of good things in the world --
   The things old men enjoy.
And life is passing fair to me:
   I still can walk erect,
And have no hankering to rest
   Where old men's bones collect.

First published in The Bulletin, 29 June 1922;
and later in
An Australian Treasury of Popular Verse edited by Jim Haynes, 2002; and
Two Centuries of Australian Poetry edited by Kathrine Bell, 2007.

Author: James William Grahame (1874-1949) was born in Creswick, Victoria, and spent the early part of his working life on the land in a variety of occupations.  He became a station manager on the darling River in new South wales and later worked for the State Government as an inspector of orchards. He published three collections of his work during his lifetime and died in Leeton, New South Wales, in 1949.

Author reference site: Austlit

Voices of the Brave by Randolph Bedford

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Australian Nurse and Soldier; whose voices through the gloom
Of night, black on the ocean, make landfall in my room;
Where the lucent disc of wireless marks the Stations of the Air,
In this northern night so quiet, as the day has been so fair.
And the voices borne by magic, from our brothers in the stress ---
From our sisters' loving services to comfort and to bless ---
Are as nigh unto my senses as if their hands of flesh
Touched my hands across the ocean wastes that rise and fall and thresh.

They have fought and made retreat between the scattered Cyclades,
From Greece and Crete and Delos, through the torn Aegean Seas;
With horror sated, nurse and soldier, wiser than their years,
Their strength, the soul of duty, that has risen above their fears.
Made commonplace is death, that swoops from out the crazy sky ---
Their finest thrill when bombing Huns crash down to earth to die.

They fought the rearguard actions in a wide Thermopylae ---
Heroic flesh opposed to steel, and weakened day by day;
From olive groves and vineyards, over leagues of hell-swept sea,
To Bethlehem, and north to Nazareth and Galilee;
The land where the child Jesus grew; the land wherein He died,
Because He loved the world, and hatred would not be denied;
The Holy Land, whose guard and keep are in the Middle Sea,
Where the men Australia mothered fight to keep Australia free.

Across the seas of half the world the soldiers' voices come;
Their hardy voices fail to hide their hunger for their home;
The Mitchell grass with cattle --- the mulga and the wool;
Our openhanded land that yields in measure more than full.
At Bondi or at Brisbane --- at Studley Park or Perth ---
They're yearning for the sight and touch of good Australian earth.
In that ancient land of sorrow past two thousand years of hate,
Fighting lust that murders beauty; keeping fast the splintered gate,
They force the walls of Sidon, and they claim the halls of Tyre,
But ever with the longing for the cheerful homeland fire.

And ever with the yearning, from the woods of Lebanon,
To see the grey gums in the creek and the thickets of the Don;
Their stride of resolution firm on the Assyrian loam,
Their faces to the enemy --- their thoughts turned back to home.

The years we wasted hoping --- the complaisant years of trust ---
The vanity that dallied while the Hun perfected lust ---
The men who planned on error, and the sloth that took a chance,
That now our soldiers pay for in that desert devils' dance.
And the little nurse who wonders how the station horses fare,
And longs for gallops down the creek in the clean homeland air.

The beast respects the gravid dam: not so the gangster breed
That bombs the nursing mothers and exults in craven deed;
These are the enemies of life; opposed Australians stand
To stem the martyrdom of man in that once-Holy land.
They fight to salvage beauty unto the world of man;
To kill the wolf-packs of the Hun and raze the wolf-pack's den;
No inch to yield of foreign field --- if strength endure the while;
They know a hard-held inch becomes, on homeward roads, a mile.

Oh! My brothers! Labour soldiers in the mine, and forge, and mill,
With yet another turning of the lathe, and of the drill;
Each precious minute salvaged from the avid sink of time
May save another soldier and avert another crime.
No faint heart can be here, if but we steel the soul and will;
No laggard here to help the foe of all the world to kill.

To every good Australian house those brave young voices come,
Their arms and hearts defending us while yet they yearn for home;
And single-hearted toil must be our word sent oversea
To our mates who fight for freedom, west and north of Galilee.

First published in The Courier-Mail, 28 June 1941;
and later in
The Cairns Post, 21 July 1941.

Author: George Randolph Bedford (1868-1941) was born in Camperdown, New South Wales,  and started work as an office boy for a firm of Sydney solicitors. He left there after two years and worked his way across New South Wales, ending up as a reporter for the Broken Hill Argus. He then worked in Adelaide on The Advertiser and in Melbourne on The Age, before starting The Clarion with Lionel Lindsay. He made a fortune speculating on gold mining in Western Australia, traveled to Europe between 1901-04.  He found himself in Queensland in 1915 and successfully stood for the State Parliament in 1923.  He published 7 novels and 2 collections of poetry during his lifetime.  He died in Brisbane in 1941.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

Taking the Old Piano by Louisa Lawson

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They're taking the old piano,
   They're lifting it from the floor.
A carrier's cant is waiting
   Outside the old home door.

And Mother to mutely watching
   With tears on her faded cheek;
I wonder of what she's thinking,
   Her heart is too full to speak.

Perhaps of the day he brought her,
   When out from a wreathed arch
There rang from the old piano
   Bright bars of a bridal march.

Or maybe when long years after
   It wailed the dead march in Saul,
As slowly he went for ever
   Enwrapped in funeral pall.

I know by her pale drawn features
   How tightly it's chords entwine,
I know the piano corner
   To her is a wasted shrine.

First published in The Sydney Mail, 27 June 1906;
and later in
Louisa Lawson: Collected Poems with Selected Critical Commentaries, edited by L.M. Rutherford, M.E. Roughley and Nigel Spence, 1996; and
100 Australian Poems of Love and Loss edited by Jamie Grant, 2011.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

Storm Phantasy by E. J. Brady

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At dusk the wind rose,
   Wild, out of the west;
A wind the bush knows,
   But the sea knows best.

All night the wind blew,
   Strong, through the trees;
And tyrannically threw,
   Its might on the seas.

Resentful and loud,
   Torn forest lords grieved;
Rebellious, and proud,
   High waters upheaved.

"Their master am I!"
  The wind in his might,
Fierce lord of the sky,
   Proclaimed through the night.

"My power I use,
   Over seas, over lands,
And none shall refuse  
   My royal commands."

But somewhere out far,
   Far out from the sky,
The voice of a star
   Made mocking reply --

"The winds of the moon  
   Once flaunted as thou;
The winds of the moon,
   But, where are they, now?

"At one with thy proud
   Wind brothers of Mars,
Who blotted with cloud
   The light of the stars.

"Small servant of change --
   Our Master, sublime --
Thou shalt not outrange
   His limits of Time:

"Thy voice shall be stilled,
   Oh, boaster of Earth;
With death were instilled
   The seeds of thy birth.

"Beginnings and ends,
   Though neither may be.
Time gives not, but lends.
   To thee and to me."  

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 June 1937

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

Taking His Chance by Henry Lawson

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They stood by the door of the Inn on the Rise;
May Carney looked up in the bushranger's eyes:
"Oh! why did you come? -- it was mad of you, Jack;
You know that the troopers are out on your track."
A laugh and a shake of his obstinate head --
"I wanted a dance, and I'll chance it," he said.

Some twenty-odd bushmen had come to the "ball",
But Jack from his youth had been known to them all,
And bushmen are soft where a woman is fair,
So the love of May Carney protected him there;
And all the short evening -- it seems like romance --
She danced with a bushranger taking his chance.

`Twas midnight -- the dancers stood suddenly still,
For hoofs had been heard on the side of the hill!
Ben Duggan, the drover, along the hillside
Came riding as only a bushman can ride.
He sprang from his horse, to the shanty he sped --
"The troopers are down in the gully!" he said.

Quite close to the homestead the troopers were seen.
"Clear out and ride hard for the ranges, Jack Dean!
Be quick!" said May Carney -- her hand on her heart --
"We'll bluff them awhile, and 'twill give you a start."
He lingered a moment -- to kiss her, of course --
Then ran to the trees where he'd hobbled his horse.

She ran to the gate, and the troopers were there --
The jingle of hobbles came faint on the air --
Then loudly she screamed:  it was only to drown
The treacherous clatter of slip-rails let down.
But troopers are sharp, and she saw at a glance
That someone was taking a desperate chance.

They chased, and they shouted, "Surrender, Jack Dean!"
They called him three times in the name of the Queen.
Then came from the darkness the clicking of locks;
The crack of the rifles was heard in the rocks!
A shriek and a shout, and a rush of pale men --
And there lay the bushranger, chancing it then.

The sergeant dismounted and knelt on the sod --
"Your bushranging's over -- make peace, Jack, with God!"
The bushranger laughed -- not a word he replied,
But turned to the girl who knelt down by his side.
He gazed in her eyes as she lifted his head:
"Just kiss me -- my girl -- and -- I'll -- chance it," he said.

First published in The Bulletin, 25 June 1892;
and later in
In the Days When the World Was Wide and Other Verses by Henry Lawson, 1900;
Songs from Lawson by Henry Lawson, 1957;
Poems of Henry Lawson edited by Walter Stone, 1973;
The World of Henry Lawson edited by Walter Stone, 1974;
A Camp-Fire Yarn: Henry Lawson Complete Works 1885-1900 edited by Leonard Cronin, 1984;
Anthology of Australian Religious Poetry edited by Les Murray, 1986;
A Collection of Australian Bush Verse, 1989; and
The Oxford Book of Australian Love Poems edited by Jennifer Strauss, 1993.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library, The Poetry of Henry Lawson website

See also.

Heritage by Ella McFadyen

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Kenneth, the blue of your bright eyes,
Azure as new-winged butterflies
Or sea-lochs on a summer day,
Tell-ages gone and far away --
Of long ships ploughing furrowed seas
To seek the lonely Hebrides.

Those silk-fringed founts of tears and smiles
Tell stories of the Western Isles,
And tales of friendship or fray
Won by the sons of Norroway;
Tell of our Gaelic chieftains wed
To daughters of bold Somerled;

Aye, and in what Lochaber glen  
Bide not the bonnie, blue-eyed men,
Whose foredame's pledge lang syne was ta'en
To tryst the summer-roving Dane?

Your little life, so new begun
Beneath the kind Australian sun,
Where Warning pricks the matin's blue
(Not brighter than the eyes of you!)
Sings through a babe's dear witcheries
Old sagas of the northern seas.
Viking and Gael -- their history lies --
Old wars, old loves -- in those blue eyes.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 June 1933

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

The Road by Grace Ethel Martyr

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The road runs pleasantly along
   'Neath arching boughs and shady trees.
Birds sing their happy morning song
   And twilight's tranquil melodies.
The flowers are sunkissed, frail and sweet,
And warm young grass grows for my feet.

No towering mountains bid me climb
   Their snow-clad heights; no glacier bars
My path; no loft peak sublime
   Forbids my journey to the  stars,
While Death and Danger waiting there
Still challenge me to greatly dare.

No faming torrent thunders past
   The iron rocks, impetuous, swift
And uncontrolled, and laughs to cast
   The spray on high to toss and drift
And shine a moment in the sun,
A jewelled fabric, fairy-spun.

No glimpse of strange and unknown seas
   Is there, no sight of ocean blue
To draw my heart. No freshening breeze
   Sings clear of careless deeds to do
Aboard some wonder ship, with sails
Wide-spread to swift adventurous gales.

The road is shady, sheltered. Few
   Walk where, through many a quiet day,
I go, and where the evening dew
   Falls soft -- who knows but patience may
Be great as courage, and no less
Content may be than happiness?

First published in The Bulletin, 23 June 1921

Author: Grace Ethel Martyr (1888-1934) was born in Ballarat and for a time before her death in Bendigo in 1934 she was social editor of the Bendigo Advertiser.

Author reference site:

Morning Voices by James Lister Cuthbertson

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      Voices I love to hear,
      Filling my soul with cheer,
Sounding are heard by mountain and fell;      
      Gaily they speak to me,
      Gently as distant sea,   
Echoing laughter like ocean-tuned shell,   
Telling such tales as angels-may tell!    


      Morn awakes, bright and clear,
      Laughing at thinking drear,       
Sweeping the hills with chariot of gold;
      Smiling on toil of men,     
      Wielding a poet pen;  
Trailing green ivy o'er monuments old,    
Lighting the hours till their moments are told.  


      Poet, your lyric thought;   
      Now to the moment wrought,  
Sandalled and hooded with glory may rise;  
      Joy to the city throng,
      Loved as a cheering song --
Lifting sad hearts to the hope in the skies,
Breathing a music toil slaves realise!        


      Voices through bush and glen
      Take me away again
Over life's plain to the dawn of its day;
      Far o'er the road of tears,
      Back o'er the gulf of years,
Into the time when my fancy had sway --  
Gilding the future with tinsel array!  


      Only to know once more    
      Friends who have gone before;        
Some by the kiss of the pleasure-lit wave;
      Some on the track of life,
      Some on the field of strife,          
Soundly they sleep in the folds of the grave;   
And never a one had taint of the knave!


      Lonely I wander on,        
      Singing my song of morn,
Drinking the nectar of sunshine around,    
      Yet for awhile I gleam  
      Thoughts from life's morning dream,
Till a new joy in the present is found,  
Thrilling with song of healthier sound!    


      Over the mountain crest,    
      Over the golden west,
Soundeth the joy of a brotherhood new;    
      Riseth the Austral cross,
      Glorious o'er its course,  
Flaming its ground of pure, azureous blue,  
Welding our States to a Commonwealth true!

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 22 June 1901

Author: James Lister Cutherbertson (1851-1910) was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and arrived in Australia in 1874 to teach at Geelong Grammar.  He was to remain a teacher or master at the college most of his adult life. He found himself in Mount Gambier at the start of 1910 suffering from illness and insomnia.  He died there after taking an overdose of barbiturates.  He never married.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

A Ballade of Sandalphon by Ethel Turner

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There are volumes of old-world tales
   That the dust of time endears,  
And, withal, are so fresh, oft the soul inhales,
   Warm breaths of long-buried seers.
In one -- in the Talmud -- there appears
   A story, mystically sweet,
Of an angel who ever the wild prayers hears  
   Of the restless world at his feet.

The ladder of light, that no foot e'er scales,
   Is the means by which to his ears
Comes the tale of grief that mankind assails,
   The hope each breast inspheres.
Silent, he stands where the ladder rears
   Its head in the golden street;
Its lowest rung the darkness nears
   Of the restless world at his feet.

And he gathers them up-the songs, the wails,
   The passionate bursts of tears,
And they change in his hand to purple trails,
   Of blossoms, whose glory cheers,
Or to white, as we place upon biers.  
   But only their fragrance e'er reaches God's seat;
'Tis the angel who hears the woes of the years,
   Of the restless world at his feet.


Sandalphon! The mist slowly clears,
   No longer our prayers shall you greet:
God of Himself hears the hopes and the fears
   Of the restless world at his feet.    

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 21 June 1905

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

In the Droving Days by A.B. "Banjo" Paterson

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'Only a pound,' said the auctioneer,
'Only a pound; and I'm standing here
Selling this animal, gain or loss.
Only a pound for the drover's horse;
One of the sort that was never afraid,
One of the boys of the Old Brigade;
Thoroughly honest and game, I'll swear,
Only a little the worse for wear;
Plenty as bad to be seen in town,
Give me a bid and I'll knock him down;
Sold as he stands, and without recourse,
Give me a bid for the drover's horse.'

Loitering there in an aimless way
Somehow I noticed the poor old grey,
Weary and battered and screwed, of course,
Yet when I noticed the old grey horse,
The rough bush saddle, and single rein
Of the bridle laid on his tangled mane,
Straightway the crowd and the auctioneer
Seemed on a sudden to disappear,
Melted away in a kind of haze,
For my heart went back to the droving days.

Back to the road, and I crossed again
Over the miles of the saltbush plain --
The shining plain that is said to be
The dried-up bed of an inland sea,
Where the air so dry and so clear and bright
Refracts the sun with a wondrous light,
And out in the dim horizon makes
The deep blue gleam of the phantom lakes.

At dawn of day we would feel the breeze
That stirred the boughs of the sleeping trees,
And brought a breath of the fragrance rare
That comes and goes in that scented air;
For the trees and grass and the shrubs contain
A dry sweet scent on the saltbush plain.
For those that love it and understand,
The saltbush plain is a wonderland.
A wondrous country, where Nature's ways
Were revealed to me in the droving days.

We saw the fleet wild horses pass,
And the kangaroos through the Mitchell grass,
The emu ran with her frightened brood
All unmolested and unpursued.
But there rose a shout and a wild hubbub
When the dingo raced for his native scrub,
And he paid right dear for his stolen meals
With the drover's dogs at his wretched heels.
For we ran him down at a rattling pace,
While the packhorse joined in the stirring chase.
And a wild halloo at the kill we'd raise --
We were light of heart in the droving days.

'Twas a drover's horse, and my hand again
Made a move to close on a fancied rein.
For I felt the swing and the easy stride
Of the grand old horse that I used to ride
In drought or plenty, in good or ill,
That same old steed was my comrade still;
The old grey horse with his honest ways
Was a mate to me in the droving days.

When we kept our watch in the cold and damp,
If the cattle broke from the sleeping camp,
Over the flats and across the plain,
With my head bent down on his waving mane,
Through the boughs above and the stumps below
On the darkest night I could let him go
At a racing speed; he would choose his course,
And my life was safe with the old grey horse.
But man and horse had a favourite job,
When an outlaw broke from a station mob,
With a right good will was the stockwhip plied,
As the old horse raced at the straggler's side,
And the greenhide whip such a weal would raise,
We could use the whip in the droving days.

'Only a pound!' and was this the end --
Only a pound for the drover's friend.
The drover's friend that had seen his day,
And now was worthless, and cast away
With a broken knee and a broken heart
To be flogged and starved in a hawker's cart.
Well, I made a bid for a sense of shame
And the memories dear of the good old game.

'Thank you? Guinea! and cheap at that!
Against you there in the curly hat!
Only a guinea, and one more chance,
Down he goes if there's no advance,
Third, and the last time, one! two! three!'
And the old grey horse was knocked down to me.
And now he's wandering, fat and sleek,
On the lucerne flats by the Homestead Creek;
I dare not ride him for fear he'd fall,
But he does a journey to beat them all,
For though he scarcely a trot can raise,
He can take me back to the droving days.

First published in The Bulletin, 20 June 1891, and again in the same magazine on 23-30 December 1980;
and later in
The Man From Snowy River and Other Verses by A.B. Paterson, 1895;
The Collected Verse of A.B. Paterson by A.B. Paterson, 1982;
Singer of the Bush, A.B. (Banjo) Paterson: Complete Works 1885-1900 compiled by Rosamund Campbell and Philippa Harvie, 1983;
A.B. Paterson's Off Down the Track: racing and other years edited by Rosamund Campbell and Philippa Harvie, 1986;
A Vision Splendid: The Complete Poetry of A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson by A.B. Paterson, 1990;
Selected Poems: A. B. Paterson compiled by Les Murray, 1992;
The Collected Verse of Banjo Paterson edited by Clement Semmler, 1993;
Banjo Paterson: His Poetry and Prose compiled by Richard Hall, 1993;
The Advertiser, 26 January 1994; and
Two Centuries of Australian Poetry edited by Kathrine Bell, 2007.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

The Dream by Clarinda Parkes

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   I slept, I dreamt,
   Wouldst know my thought? --
   O, that such dreams
   I had but sought!  

Methought I stood by a river bright,
   Which wandered far away,
And the sun beamed on with a golden light
   Where a lovely island lay.

But suddenly behind a cloud
   That sun's bright orb was lost;
And that fair island in a shroud
   Of darkness dense was cast.

And then a small white speck appeared,
   Relieved against that island dark,
Nearer and nearer still it came,
   And seemed to be a little bark.

It drifted on, and touched the strand --
   A small straight plank with awning o'er,
And in it lay a coffin old,
   From which a fair girl sprang on shore.

Angelic beauty marked each line
   Of that young lovely face;  
And small bright wings of a pearl-like hue
   Showed her of heavenly race.

She took my hand, and sweetly smiled,
   And looked into my face,
And said, "Thy rose has faded, come,
   And share with me my Master's grace."

She led me then from place to place --
   Explained my Maker's love;
She showed me every wond'rous thing,
   The work of Him above.

   I then awoke,
   My dream took flight,
   And on me shone
   The moon's fair light.

First published
in The Empire, 19 June 1855

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

Dreamland by William Main

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Thinking of thee, my love, always of thee,
   Sweet are my dreams as the last sunbeam dies,
The morning reveals the far-severing sea,
   The gloaming brings glances from thy loving eyes.

Through vanishing distance each glance swiftly flies,
   Bringing its marvellous message to me;
Whispering softly, when lately it lies
   At home in my heart,"I am thinking of thee."

Thinking of thee, my love, loving hearts blend,
   Thought answers thought o'er the wide seas that sever;
In that wonderful land of dreams lover and friend
   May meet, and may linger for ever and ever.

Then welcome, dear dreamland, that comes with the gloaming,
   Till seas no more sever, till grief cannot rend
Fond hearts now far sundered, the wide world roaming,
   Till Love, all triumphant, unites in the end!

First published in The Queenslander, 18 June 1898

Author: William Main (1860-1946) was born in Glasgow and arrived in Queensland in 1887.  He worked in the agricultural industry and contributed to a number of Queensland and Sydney publications.  He died in Goodna, Queensland, in 1946.

Author reference site:

See also.

The Circling Hearth-Fires by Roderic Quinn

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My Countrymen, though you are young as yet
With little history, nought to show
Of lives enleagued against a foreign foe --
Torn flags and triumph, glory or regret;
Still some things make our kinshp sweet,
Some deeds inglorious but of royal worth,
As when with tireless arms and toiling feet
We felled the tree and tilled the earth.  

'Tis no great way that we have travelled since
Our feet first shook the storied dust
Of England from them, when with love and trust
In one another, and large confidence
In God above, our ways were ta'en
'Neath alien skies -- each keeping step in mind
And soul and purpose to one trumpet strain,
One urging music on the wind:

Yet tears of ours have wet the dust, have wooed
Some subtle green things from the ground --
Like violets -- only violets never wound
Such tendrils round the heart; the solitude
Has seen young hearts with love entwine;
And many gentle friends gone down to death
Have mingled with the dust, and made divine
The very soil we tread beneath.

Thus we have learned to love our country, learned
To treasure every inch from foam
To foam; to title her with name of Home;
To light in her regard a flame that burned
No land in vain, that calls the eyes
Of men to glory heights and old renown;
That wild winds cannot quench, nor thunder-skies
Make dim, nor many waters drown.

Six hearths have circled round our shores, and round
The six hearths group a common race,
Though leagues divide; the one light on their face,
The same old songs and stories rise; the sound
Of kindred voices and the dear
Old English tongue make music; and men move
From hearth to hearth with little fear
Of aught, save open arms and love.

To keep these hearth-fires red, to keep the door
Of each house wide -- that is our part!
Surely 'tis noble! Surely, heart to heart,
God's love upon us and one gaol before
Is something worth! Something to win
Our hearts to effort! Something it were good
To garner soon! And something 'twould be sin
To cast aside in wanton mood.

My countrymen, hats off! with heart and will
Thank God that you are free, and then
Arise, and don your Nationhood like men,
And, manlike, face the world for good or ill.
Peace be to you, and in the tide
Of years great plenty till Time's course be run;
Six Ploughmen in the same field side by side,
But, if need be, six Swords as one.

First published in The Bulletin, 17 June 1899;
and later in
The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse edited by Walter Murdoch, 1918.

Note: this poem is also known by the title "The Circling Hearths".

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

To the Fallen Heroes by Zora Cross

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No little victory we praise
   This mellow day in June,  
As down the way the chanting comes  
   Of many a martial tune.  

No petty, passing sigh is ours,
   No merely human prayer,  
The news of every fresh-cut trench
   Brings heartache everywhere.

For blue, blue eyes that smiled in ours,
   And hearts that linked our own,  
Wait wearied, longing for the charge,
   Or maybe die --- alone.

Dear hands, dear fingers that we pressed,
   No little niche is thine,
Where hero meets with hero on
   The hills and plains divine.

First published in The Brisbane Courier, 16 June 1915

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of BiographyOld Qld Poetry

See also.

The Jewel House by Alice Gore-Jones

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The jewel house is painted green,
Its curtains are of amber sheen,
With Eastern rugs and polished floors,
And carved bronze handles on the doors.
The rooms are swept with gentle light,
The walls are picture-hung and bright,
While through an open window blows
Scent of violet and rose.

I see the table trimly set
With bowls of fragrant mignonette,
Blue-handled cups, the coffee's steam,
The butter's gold, the honey's gleam;
And afterwards -- an hour that brings
The clash of chords, the throb of strings:
Slim hands that weave with strange romance
Scherzo, fugue and Eastern dance.

The night is swept with wind and rain,
But in my heart I see again
The jewel house with walls of green
And curtains wrought from amber sheen;
While through each open window blows
Memory sweeter than the rose.

First published in The Bulletin, 15 June 1922

Author reference sites: Austlit, Old Qld Poetry

See also.

Hy-Brasil by Henry Kendall

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"Daughter," said the ancient father, pausing by the evening sea,
"Turn thy face towards the sunset -- turn thy face and kneel with me!  
"Prayer and praise and holy fasting, lips of love and life of light,  
"These and these have made thee perfect-shining saint with seraph's sight
"Look towards that flowing crescent -- look beyond that glowing space,
Tell me, sister of the angels, what is beaming in thy face?"
And the daughter who had fasted-who had spent her days in prayer
Till the glory of the Saviour touched her head and rested there,  
Turned her eyes towards the sea-line -- saw beyond the fiery crest,
Floating over waves of jasper, far Hy-Brasil in the West.

All the calmness and the colour -- all the splendour and repose
Flowing where the sunset flowered like a silverhearted rose!
There indeed was singing Eden, where the great gold river runs
Past the porch and gates of crystal ringed by strong and shining ones!
There indeed was God's own garden sailing down the sapphire sea --
Lawny dells and slopes of summer, dazzling stream and radiant tree!
Out against the hushed horizon -- out beneath the reverent day, --
Flamed the Wonder on the waters -- flamed, and flashed, and passed away.    
And the maiden who had soon it felt a hand within her own,
And an angel that we know not led her to the Lands unknown.

Never since hath eye behold it -- never since hath mortal, dazed
By its strange unearthly splendour, on the floating Eden gazed!
Only once since Eve went weeping through a throng of glittering wings
Hath the holy seen Hy-Brasil, where the great gold river sings!  
Only once by quiet waters -- under still, resplendent skies
Did the sister of the seraphs kneel in sight of Paradise!       
She the pure, the perfect woman, sanctified by patient prayer
Had the eyes of saints of Heaven -- all their glory in her hair;
Therefore God the Father whispered to a radiant spirit near --
"Show Our daughter fair Hy-Brasil -- show her this and lead her here."

But, beyond the halls of sunset -- but within the wondrous West,
On the rose-red seas of evening, sails the Garden of the Blest.
Still, the gates of glassy beauty -- still the walls of glowing light
Shine on waves that no man knows of: out of sound and out of sight.  
Yet the slopes and lawns of lustre -- yet the dells of sparkling streams
Dip to tranquil shores of jasper where the watching angel beams.
But, behold, our eyes are human, and our way is paved with pain,
We can never find Hy-Brasil -- never see its hills again!
Never look on bays of crystal -- never bend the reverent knee
In the sight of Eden floating -- floating on the sapphire sea!

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 14 June 1879;
and later in
The Freeman's Journal, 18 December 1880;
Songs from the Mountains by Henry Kendall, 1880;
An Anthology of Australian Verse, edited by Bertram Stevens, 1907;
The Golden Treasury of Australian Verse, edited by Bertram Stevens, 1909;
Selections from Australian Poets edited by Bertram Stevens, 1925;
Rose Lorraine and Other Poems edited by Henry Kendall, 1945;
Selected Poems of Henry Kendall edited by T. Inglis Moore, 1957;
The Poetical Works of Henry Kendall edited by Thomas Thornton Reed, 1966;
A Treasury of Colonial Poetry, 1982; and
Selected Poems of Henry Kendall edited by T. Inglis Moore, 1988.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

"By the Gum Trees" by R. M. Laurance

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In the moonlight, by the gum trees,
   Whispered he a tale of love,
And with weariless endeavour
   Strove his passioned words to prove;
But she laughed and jested lightly ---
   She would not believe it so ---
Then her laughter changed to anger,
   Haughtily she bade him go.     

So he went --- her words were bitter;
   So he went --- she told him to;
Through the moonlight, from the gum trees,
   So he went, nor said adieu.
While the moonlight on the gum trees
  „ Floods them with a silver light,
Still the heart of him who loves her
   Lives in one long moonless night.  

First published in The Queenslander, 13 June 1896

nothing is known about the author of this poem.

Author reference site: Austlit

Winter Quiet by David McKee Wright

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Chill silence led the evening by the hand
   Down to a breathless place beneath the trees
   Where all the dark was full of memories
Of the brave summer walking through the land --
A prophet that the boughs could understand
   When all the warm apostles of the breeze
   Stirred the new bloom to honeyed ecstacies
And birds to song, and all the world was bland.

Deep in the gentle places of the mind,
   Chilled by the winter of some dim regret,
We walk with silence; and no thought may sing
For love of life the mate-song of its kind.
   Our muffled steps in the pale glooms are set,
Passing from Summer on the path of Spring.

First published in The Bulletin, 12 June 1924

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Correggio Jones by Victor J. Daley

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Correggio Jones an artist was
   Of pure Australian race,
But native subjects scorned because
   They were too commonplace.

The Bush with all its secrets grim,
   And solemn mystery,
No fascination had for him:
   He had no eyes to see

The long sad spectral desert-march
   Of brave Explorers dead,
Who perished --- while the burning arch
   Of blue laughed overhead;

The Solitary Man who stares
   At the mirage so fair,
While Death steals on him unawares
   And grasps him by the hair;

The Lonely Tree that sadly stands,
   With no green neighbor nigh,
And stretches forth its bleached, dead hands,
   For pity, to the sky;

The Grey Prospector, weird of dress,
   And wearied overmuch,
Who dies amidst the wilderness --
   With Fortune in his clutch;

The figures of the heroes gone
   Who stood forth undismayed,
And Freedom's Flag shook forth upon
   Eureka's old stockade.

These subjects to Correggio Jones
   No inspiration brought;
He was an ass (in semi-tones)
   And painted --- as he thought.

"In all these things there's no Romance,"
   He muttered, with a sneer;
"They'll never give C. Jones a chance
   To make his genius clear!"

"Grey gums," he cried, "and box-woods pale
   They give my genius cramp --
But let me paint some Knights in Mail,
   Or robbers in a camp.

"Now look at those Old Masters --- they
   Had all the chances fine
With churches dim, and ruins grey,
   And castles on the Rhine,

"And lady grey in minever,
   And hairy-shirted saint,
And Doges in apparel fair --
   And things a man might paint!

"And barons bold and pilgrims pale,
   And battling Knight and King ---
The blood-spots on their golden mail --
   And all that sort of thing!

"Your Raphael and your Angelo
   And Rulwns, and such men,
They simply had a splendid show,
   Give me the same --- and then!"

So speaks Correggio Jones --- yet sees,
   When past is Night's eclipse,
The Dawn come like Harpocrates,
   A rose held to her lips.

The wondrous dawn that is so fair,
   So young and bright and strong,
That e'en the rocks and stones to her
   Sing a Memnonic song.

He will not see that our sky-hue
   Old Italy's outvies,
But still goes yearning for the blue
   Of far Ausoniam skies.

He yet is painting at full bat --
   You'll say, if him you see,
"His body dwells on Gander Flat,"
   His soul's in Italy.

First published in The Bulletin, 11 June 1898;
and later in
Freedom on the Wallaby: Poems of the Australian People edited by Marjorie Pizer, 1953;
Through Australian Eyes: Prose and Poetry for Schools edited by John Colmer and Dorothy Colmer, 1984;
My Country: Australian Poetry and Short Stories, Two Hundred Years edited by Leonie Kramer 1985;
The Penguin Book of Australian Satirical Verse edited by Philip Neilsen, 1986; and
Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature edited by Nicholas Jose, Kerryn Goldsworthy, Anita Heiss, David McCooey, Peter Minter, Nicole Moore and Elizabeth Webby, 2009.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

"Ginger Mick" by C. J. Dennis

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Wot price ole Ginger Mick?  'E's done a break --
   Gone to the flamin' war to stoush the foe.
Wus it fer glory, or a woman's sake?
   Ar, arst me somethin' easy! I dunno.
'Is Kharki clobber set 'im off a treat,
That's all I know; 'is motive's got me beat.

Ole Mick 'e's trainin' up in Cairo now;
   An' all the cops in Spadger's Lane is sad.
They miss 'is music in the midnight row
   Wot time the pushes mix it good an' glad.
Fer 'e wus one o' them, you understand,
Wot "soils the soshul life uv this fair land."

A peb wus Mick; a leery bloke wus 'e,
   Low down, an' given to the brinnin' cup;
The sort o' chap that coves like you an' me
   Don't mix wiv, 'cos of our strick bringin's-up.
An' 'e wus sich becos unseein' Fate
Lobbed 'im in life a 'undred years too late.

'E wus a man uv vierlence, wus Mick,
   Coarse wiv 'is speech an' in 'is manner low,
Slick wiv 'is 'ands, an' 'andy wiv a brick
   When bricks wus needful to defeat a foe.
An' now 'e's gone an' mizzled to the war,
An' some blokes 'as the nerve to arst "Wot for?"

Wot for? gawstruth! 'E wus no patriot
   That sits an' brays advice in days uv strife;
'E never flapped no flags nor sich like rot;
   'E never sung "Gawsave" in all 'is life.
'E wus dispised be them that make sich noise:
But now - O strike! - 'e's "one uv our brave boys."

'E's one uv our brave boys, all right, all right.
   'Is early trainin' down in Spadgers Lane
Done 'im no 'arm fer this 'ere orl-in fight:
   'Is loss o' culcher is 'is country's gain.
'Im wiv 'is carst-ir'n chiv an' leery ways -
An' swell tarts 'eavin' 'im sweet words o' praise.

Why did 'e go?  'E 'ad a decent job,
   'Is tart an' 'im they could 'a' made it right.
Why does a wild bull fight to guard the mob?
   Why does a bloomin' bull-ant look fer fight?
Why does a rooster scrap an' flap an' crow?
'E went becos 'e dam well <i>'ad</i> to go.

'E never spouted no 'igh-soundin' stuff
   About stern jooty an' 'is country's call;
But, in 'is way, 'e 'eard it right enough
   A-callin' like the shout uv "On the Ball!"
Wot time the footer brings the clicks great joy,
An' Saints or Carlton roughs it up wiv 'Roy.

The call wot came to cave-men in the days
   When rocks wus stylish in the scrappin' line;
The call wot knights 'eard in the minstrel's lays,
   That sent 'em in tin soots to Palerstine;
The call wot draws all fighters to the fray
It come to Mick, an' Mick 'e must obey.

The Call uv Stoush! ... It's older than the 'ills.
   Lovin' an' fightin' - there's no more to tell
Concernin' men.  an' when that feelin' thrills
   The blood uv them 'oo's fathers mixed it well,
They 'ave to 'eed it - bein' 'ow they're built -
As traders 'ave to 'eed the clink uv gilt.

An' them whose gilt 'as stuffed 'em stiff wiv pride
   An' 'aughty scorn uv blokes like Ginger Mick -
I sez to them, put sich crook thorts aside,
   An' don't lay on the patronage too think.
Orl men is brothers when it comes to lash
An' 'aughty scorn an' Culcher does their lash.

War ain't no giddy garden feete - it's war:
   A game that calls up love an' 'atred both.
An' them that shudders at the sight o' gore,
   An' shrinks to 'ear a drunken soljer's oath,
Must 'ide be'ind the man wot 'eaves the bricks,
An' thank their Gawd for all their Ginger Micks.
Becos 'e never 'ad the chance to find
   The glory o' the world by land an' sea,
Becos the beauty 'idin' in 'is mind
   Wus not writ plain fer blokes like you an' me,
They calls 'im crook; but in 'im I 'ave found
Wot makes a man a man the world around.

Be'ind that dile uv 'is, as 'ard as sin,
   Wus strange, soft thorts that never yet showed out;
An' down in Spadger's Lane, in dirt an' din,
   'E dreamed sich dreams as poits sing about.
'E's 'ad 'is visions uv the Bonzer Tart;
An' stoushed some coot to ease 'is swellin' 'eart.

Lovin' an' fightin' . . . when the tale is told,
   That's all there is to it; an' in their way
Them brave an' noble 'ero blokes uv old
   Wus Ginger Micks - the crook 'uns uv their day.
Jist let the Call uv Stoush give 'im 'is chance
An' Ginger Mick's the 'ero of Romance.

So Ginger Mick 'e's mizzled to the war;
   Joy in 'is 'eart, an' wild dreams in 'is brain;
Gawd 'elp the foe that 'e goes gunnin' for
   If tales is true they tell in Spadger's Lane -
Tales that ud fairly freeze the gentle 'earts
Uv them 'oo knits 'is socks - the Culchered Tarts.

First published in The Bulletin, 10 June 1915;
and later in
The Moods of Ginger Mick by C.J. Dennis, 1916;
The Australian Experience of War: Illustrated Stories and Verse edited by J.T. Laird, 1988;
Selected Works of C.J. Dennis by C.J. Dennis, 1988;
Favorite Poems of C.J. Dennis by C.J. Dennis, 1989; and
Our Country: Classic Australian Poetry: From the Colonial Ballads to Paterson & Lawson edited by Michael Cook, 2004.

Note: this poem is also known by the title "The Call of Stoush".

Author reference sites: C.J. Dennis, Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.
Oh! golden are the dreams of youth
   By ardent fancy brightly painted;
But broken dreams they prove, forsooth,
   As we with life grow more acquainted.
And thou, staid Benedict and meek,
   Who now at home by night must tarry,
Upon one theme thou durst not speak--
   "The girls we loved --- but didn't many."

O long array of peerless forms!
   O faultless faces, bold or tender!
O days of ardour, sighs in storms,   
   And unconditional surrender!
Surely their eyes were every hue;
   Their thrilling glances none could parry;
O fools! -- we loved, and thought them true ---
   The girls we loved --- but didn't marry.

Amelia swore, with brimming eyes,
   To love for ever and for ever;
And Agnes murmured thro' her sighs
   That Death alone our hearts could sever.
Where is the faithless Fanny gone?
   And where the captivating Carry!   
O bane deceivers --- false --- forsworn!
   The girls we loved --- but didn't marry.

How oft Georgina gave the hand
   A lingering pressure ere we parted!   
Sweet were the moments when we fanned
   False Bess, who left us broken-hearted.
Georgina now is Mrs. Pott,
   And Bess has wedded old Glengarry.
Alas! They found out what was what ---
   Those girls we loved --- but didn't marry.

Ah well! The plaited braid of hair,
   The faded scrawl on tinted paper,
The trinkets that we kept with care,
   The tiny glove, once white and taper.
Alas! 'tis all we have to show
   Romantic notions will miscarry.
They loved and left us --- Let them go ---
   The girls we loved -- but didn't marry!   

Come, fill your glasses to the brim,
   And thank the stars that shine above us
We could not gratify each whim,
   Nor wed with all who swore to love us.   
True freedom dies with single bliss,
   And wedlock's chains are hard to carry.
One toast I pledge you --- Drink to this:
   The girls we loved --- but didn't marry!

First published in The Queenslander, 9 June 1888;
and later in
The Boomerang, 2 April 1892.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

Smoke by Christine Comber

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Smoke from factory chimneys is black, and foul, and thick,
   Rolling in slow curls that blur the ocean-line,
A giant full of malice, it o'er-spreads the morning sky
   As if to blot the sunshine out of this heart of mine.

Smoke from pine-wood bonfires is fragrant in the night,
   Rising in gusts of whiteness and sparks that soar and die;
Smoke from country bonfires has memories in its haze
   Of poplar-spears and fir-incense, and stars and midnight sky.

Smoke from cottage chimneys is friendly, cheerful smoke,  
   Standing straight above them like a flimsy, greyish spire,   
Smoke from cottage chimneys sends a message through the night
   Of steaming tea, and slippers, and an armchair by the fire.

First published in The Australian Women's Weekly, 8 June 1935

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

Midsummer by Mabel Forrest

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A hot wind down the terrace blows,
   Behind the garden rail,
The languid flowers droop their heads,
Tall hollyhocks in pinks and reds,
   Hibiscus blossoms pale.

The sparrows twitter in the shade
   Of heavy mango trees;
I draw the shutters close, and hide
The bright and thirsty world outside
   To dream of tumbling seas.

To muse on miles of shell-strewn beach,  
   Of glistening wave-wet sands,
Longing for sight of that far place --
And most of all for her glad face
   And small, cool, outstretched hands.      

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 7 June 1905

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

The Wallaby Track by Will H. Ogilvie

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Oh, a weird, wild road is the Wallaby Track
   That is known to the bushmen only,
Stretching away to the plains out back
   And the big scrubs lorn and lonely!   
Dawn till dark they are passing there,
   Over the hot sand thronging,
Shouldering burdens of Doubt and Despair,
   Passion and Love and Longing.

There are pearls of dew on the Wallaby Track
   For the maiden Day's adorning,
And blush-clouds beating the night-shades back
   In the van of the golden morning;  
There are glories born of the sinking sun
   In the splendid Eve's lap dying,
A glitter of stars lit one by one,
   And a rustle of night-wings flying.

There are long bright days on the Wallaby Track,
   With a blue vault arching over,
And long, long thoughts that are drifting back
   To the waiting wife and lover;
There are horse-bells tinkling down the wind
   With a thousand rippling changes,
And the boom of the team-bells intertwined
   From the far-off mulga ranges.

There are stars of gold on the Wallaby Track,
   And silver the moonbeams glisten;
The great Bush sings to us, out and back,
   And we lie in her arms and listen;
Our dull hearts quicken their rhythmic beat
   For a wild swan's southward flying,
And gather old memories sadly sweet
   From a wind-swept pine-bough's sighing.  

There are lone graves left on the Wallaby Track,
   And the bush-grass bends above them;
They had no white hands to wave them back,
   Perhaps --- no hearts to love them!
But none the less will their sleep be sound
   For the Hope and Love denied them;
They will hear no tramp on the thirsty ground
   Though our path runs close beside them.

First published in The Bulletin, 6 June 1896;
and later in
The North Queensland Register, 7 November 1927; and
Fair Girls and Grey Horses: With Other Verses by Will H. Ogilvie, 1958.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

What Heart Says by Ruth M. Bedford

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         Is it well to hope?
Look up! Be lightened, desponding eyes,
   And be ye strengthened, O hands that grope!
Comfort and freedom around us lies.
Yet dare I trust in a world so strange,
Where I know nothing, where all may change?
         Is it wise to hope
         When we only guess
         In a world so new?
         Heart says "Yes,
         If I hope, too!"

         Is it well to live?
Now I think it, with much to see,
   Many to give to, and much to give,
And some who are glad of love from me.
Yet who can tell in this world to-day?
All these may wither and fade away.
         Is it well to live?
         Have we power to bless,
         To be brave and true?
         Heart says "Yes,
         If I live, too!"

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 June 1926

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

The Australian Slanguage by W.T. Goodge

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'Tis the everyday Australian
   Has a language of his own,
Has a language, or a slanguage,
   Which can simply stand alone.
And a "dickon pitch to kid us"
   Is a synonym for "lie",
And to "nark it" means to stop it,
   And to "nit it" means to fly.

And a bosom friend's a "cobber,"
   And a horse a "prad" or "moke,"
While a casual acquaintance
   Is a "joker" or a "bloke."
And his lady-love's his "donah"
   or his "clinah" or his "tart"
Or his "little bit o' muslin,"
   As it used to be his "bart."

And his naming of the coinage
   Is a mystery to some,
With his "quid" and "half-a-caser"
   And his "deener" and his "scrum".
And a "tin-back" is a party
   Who's remarkable for luck,
And his food is called his "tucker"
   Or his "panem" or his "chuck".

A policeman is a "johnny"
   Or a "copman" or a "trap",
And a thing obtained on credit
   Is invariably "strap".
A conviction's known as "trouble",
   And a gaol is called a "jug",
And a sharper is a "spieler"
   And a simpleton's a "tug".

If he hits a man in fighting
   That is what he calls a "plug",
If he borrows money from you
   He will say he "bit your lug."
And to "shake it" is to steal it,
   And to "strike it" is to beg;
And a jest is "poking borac",
   And a jester "pulls your leg".

Things are "cronk" when they go wrongly
   In the language of the "push",
But when things go as he wants 'em
   He declares it is "all cush".
When he's bright he's got a "napper",
   And he's "ratty" when he's daft,
And when looking for employment
   He is "out o' blooming graft".

And his clothes he calls his "clobber"
   Or his "togs", but what of that
When a "castor" or a "kady"
   Is the name he gives his hat!
And our undiluted English
   Is a fad to which we cling,
But the great Australian slanguage
   Is a truly awful thing!

Published in The Bulletin, 4 June 1898

Note: This poem was originally published in the Orange Leader (though I am uncertain as to when), and was subsequently also printed with the title "Larrikin Language".

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

Dusk by Ivy Moore

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Dusk in the garden, and the white rose shining,
   The scent of dewy grass, and peace, serene!
Around that gate sweet honeysuckle twining,
   Moonlight on water, gleaming crystalline.

Dusk in the soul, when life's long day is ending,
   Lighted by faith, a lovely lamp aglow,  
Whilst memories in lavender are blending,
   Fragrance to scent life's soft adagio.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 June 1939

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

Dora by Charles Harpur

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   It was, I well remember,
      The merry Springtime, when
   Young Dora in the eventide
      Came singing up the Glen:  
   Came singing up the Glen,
      Till I felt her tuneful art,
Like a subtle stream of vocal fire
   Run glowing through my heart.

   A fond resolve, long cherished,
      Till then I might control;     
   Till then-but oh! that witching strain,
      It drew it from my soul:
   It drew it from my soul,
      And she did not say me nay,  
And the world of Love was all the world
   To us that happy day.

   I'm happy now in thinking
      How happy I was then,  
   When tow'rds the glowing west, my love
      Went homeward down the Glen:
   Went homoward down the Glen,
      While my comfort surer grew,
Till methought the old-faced hills all looked  
   As they were happy too.      

First published in The Empire, 2 June 1856;
and later in
An Australasian Anthology: Australian and New Zealand Poems edited by Percival Serle, R.H. Croll and Frank Wilmot, 1927;
A Treasury of Colonial Poetry, 1982; and
The Poetical Works of Charles Harpur edited by Elizabeth Perkins, 1984.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

To the Morning Star by Ernest Favenc

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Crowned monarch of the starry sky,
   Forerunner of the day
All other orbs that shine on high
   Must pale before thy ray.

If, as to legends old we find,
   Man's destinies are thine,
Whose paths art those amongst mankind
   On which thy fell rays shine?   

Ambition's votaries dost thou lure,
   Up, up the giddy height;
Led on by hopes that ne'er endure
   The test of Truth's stern light.

If so, the historic roll of fame
   Bears witness to thy sway,
Telling of deeds done in that name
   By men long passed away.

Napoleon must have watched thee rise,
   From many a camp-fire's side;
Earth's empires then would scarce comprise
   The yearnings of his pride.

Yet the same beams that coldly kissed
   His flashing spears upborne,
Loured sadly, dimly, through the mist
   Of Waterloo's dread morn.

And hovering o'er the Atlantic spray,
   With thy calm, changeless smile,
Thou sawest him wear his heart away
   On Saint Helena's Isle.

And he, the celestial one, who bore
   Thy name in heaven afar,
From hell's abyss shall rise no more,
   Oh, fatal morning star!   

Still, in lone majesty shine on,
   Creation's radiant king;
The unceasing woe thou look'st upon
   To thee no change can bring.

In some new life the grave beyond,
   Then yet our home mayest be;
When freed from every earth-wrought bond,
   Our souls are fit for thee.

First published in The Queenslander, 1 June 1872

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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