November 2012 Archives

Stumps Drawn by Roderic Quinn

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Where are all the flannelled clan
   On this perfect playing day --
Spofforth, Murdoch, Bannerman,
   Each at master in his way?
Where are those that cheered them on
From the packed pavilion?

Shod in white with linen hat,
   How they held our hearts in thrall --
Massey with his shining hat,
   Turner with his cunning ball!
Hark again the shouts of old --
"Bravo! Middle stump! Well bowled!"

Where is now that human hive
   That rent Heaven with cheers to see
Bonnor's most Homeric drive,
   When he lifted mightily
High and still more high the ball
Over clock and tower and all?

Many years have passed since then,
   Since that most amazing sight;
Boys, who saw it, grown to men
   Still recall it, pipes alight,
As companioned well they walk
Lost in old-time cricket talk.

Ah, the joy, the thrill intense,
   Watching from the crowded hill,
"Fourers" to the picket fence,
   "Fivers" over! Ah, the chill
Or the loud, triumphant shout
When the umpire nodded -- Out!

State and Test -- what joys they were
   When the game was in its prime!
How the blood in us would stir
   Into ecstasy what time
Cutting, driving, hard and sweet,
Some hold batsman saved defeat!

How the noise roared round the town,
   Making good the passing hours,
When the Vics. went tumbling down,
   And we knew the match was ours!
How we drooped downcast, ashamed,
When the Vics. the victory claimed!

Where are they, the blithe, the bold,
   Whom it was our joy to watch?
Some are grey and all are old,
   Some have played their final match --
Shouldered bats and gravely gone --
To the packed Pavilion.

Gone, too, are the watching throng;
   Now no more their plaudits rise.
All is silent save the song
   Of a lone lark in the skies;
And -- the sole life of the scene --
Swallows skim across the green.

First published in The Bulletin, 30 November 1916

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

See also.

Out to the Green Fields by John Shaw Neilson

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Here there is crying, cruelty, every tone:
Cruel is iron, and where is the pity in stone?
The ancient tyrannies tower, they cannot yield:
Let the tired eyes go to the green field!

Flowers are foreigners here, subdued and calm,
Standing as children under a heavy psalm:
My heart is ever impatient of standing so:
Out to the green fields the tired eyes go.

Out where the grasses hasten the resolute heart of man!
Out to the place of pity where all his tears began!
Only down with the young love are the fairy folk concealed:
Let the tired eyes go to the green field.

The leaves have listened to all the birds so long:
Every blossom has ridden out of a song:
Only low with the young love the olden hates are healed:
Let the tired eyes go to the green field!

First published in Bookfellow, 29 November 1924;
and later in
Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson by John Shaw Neilson, 1934; and
John Shaw Neilson: Poetry, Autobiography and Correspondence edited by Cliff Hanna, 1991.

Masts Over the Housetops by Lance Fallaw

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Tall masts that stand where the highways meet, 
What place for you in a builded street?

For you were born in the forest's lap,
And clothed in sunshine and fed with sap, 
And bathed as you grew in that finer sea, 
The dim, green air that enfolds a tree;
Till you held your head with your peers at last,
And your woven shadows below you cast.
Now you are dead. Some doom has bound you 
Here by the wharf, with the housetops round you.

You can never go back to the forest ways,
But there's still a pathway where leaps and plays
The wild wave closing, for ever cleft.
Spread, spread your wings -- there is one life left.
You shall breathe again of a salter blow
Than the tops of Nordic headlands know. 
You shall see yourselves in a nobler pool 
Than ever was laid in woodlands cool.
You shall triumph and toil, you shall stagger and strain;
You shall live, you shall live, you shall live again.

Spread your canvas, loose from the pier.
Walls, windows, roofs -- what place for your here?

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 November 1931

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

Song of the West by E. J. Brady

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Oh to be out in the West again,
the West again,
Where the hard, lean bushmen go;
To shed the collar and vest again,
To wangle the miles and rest again,
Hi-ho for the Westlands, oh!

Camel or pack, and a golden haze
From suns unclouded to light our days,
And cloudless skies in a lonely light
To arch the calm of a Western night!

Oh to be out with the best again,
The best again.
Out of Pilbarra or out of Broome,
Easy going and plenty of room,
A reef to seek or a deed to do,
A black quart pot and a nigger too --
Ah, to be out in the West again!

Oh to be gone to a Land of Gold,
So young in story and yet so old,
To take a chance though the flour-bags shrink,
And soupy water is hard to drink.

Hey and a-ho for the bars of Perth,
For days of pleasure and nights of mirth,
Hey and a-ho!
The gold dust won and the wine aglow --
A-hey and a-ho! A-hey and a-ho.

You've heard the story of Jack Dalveen?
His credit is closed, he hadn't a bean;
His old man said, as these old men do,
"You can go to Hell, I have done with you!"

He worked his passage, he's proud to say,
On a cargo tub to Cossack Bay;
He shed the East and he started square -=-
Now Jack Dalveen is a millionaire.
Hey and a-ho.

There's old George Falls, of Oberon;
We sat together in days long gone,
Clapping our heels in the mornings cool
Under the desk at Oberon school.

I hear the George has a fortune made,
Over in Broome in the pearling trade --
Good-o! Good-o!
And he's bought a farm by Busselton --
You like to know how your pals get on.
 Hey and a-ho.

Camel or pack and the wide Nor'-West,
Oh to be out again on the quest,
The quest again!
Out of Carnarvon or out of Broome,
Camel or pack and plenty of room,
Oh to be out in the West again!

Oh to be out in the West again,
To take a chance with the best again;
To wangle the miles and rest again.
A-hey and a-ho!
To make a fortune or face a fall,
Camel or pack and God for us all,
A-hey and a-ho!

First published in The Bulletin, 27 November 1924

Aurora-Dawn. Auroria--Land of Dawn by Douglas B.W. Sladen

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Hesperia was thy name, O Italy, 
   From the old Greeks -- deemed Europe's subtlest wits; 
   For over thee the glorious sunshine quits 
Their world. And we accept the augury.
Our land shall be Auroria. Is not she 
   The Land of Dawn? In her the sun first lits 
   The realm whereon all darkness never sits; 
And here dawned Greater Britain oversea. 
   Pray we that here has dawned the coming age, 
      The great Millennium, hoped for eight hundred years, 
   From war and want--the only heritage 
      That man brought out of Eden, except tears; 
So the new dawning which with us had birth 
Shall broaden into light for all the earth.

First published in The Queenslander, 26 November 1887

Note: Auroria was, at that time, being proposed as a new name for the Australian state of New 
South Wales.

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

The Making of Man by P. Luftig (Peter Airey)

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Far in the deep of the past, in the dawning of life and of day, 
Sat Care by the side of a brook and moulded a creature of clay;
Fashioned and framed it and formed it, all seemly and comely and fair, 
Bore to the altar of Zeus the body and brake into prayer:-- 

"Zeus! 'Tis Care, 'tis thy daughter, who calleth," the goddess began, 
"See--l have moulded a creature of day in the name of a man; 
Breathe in his nostrils, O Zeus! the breath of thy spirit divine; 
Fill him with life and with love, mighty Zeus, and let him be mine." 

Hearing the voice of the goddess in prayer her sister drew nigh, 
Tellus, the Earth, crying "Lord of Olympus! now list to my cry! 
Into the man put thy life and thy love, but mine let him be, 
For out of my lap was he fashioned with clay that was stolen from me." 

Lovingly spake to his daughters great Zeus, "I list to your prayer. 
Earth! thou hast given the day for the form that was fashioned by Care; 
Therefore, O Care! for a space thy child in his life shall he be, 
And, on the day that he dieth, O Earth, he returneth to thee." 

So the All-Father gave life to the man and gave answer to prayer; 
So he gave answer to Earth and so he gave answer to Care; 
And to this day there endureth this law unto all who draw breath:-- 
"In his life Man belongeth to Care, and belongeth to Earth in his death."

First published in The Queenslander, 25 November 1893

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

There was a Cherry Tree by Ethel Turner

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There was a cherry tree afoam with flower
As I passed through a village one sweet hour. 
A cherry tree in flower's a half-wild thing, 
Gone back an aeon for its brief, mad spring. 
Sometimes in fruit a cherry tree goes fay,
Steal from your bed and look, some break of day.
But by the side of this one folks had built
A smirking little place, picked out with gilt, 
With paths of concrete and a steel-wire gate,
And curtain-smothered windows, bayed in state. 
Oh, architect who built in that green wild, 
Why were you not a fairy or a child?
Why made you not your walls of warm brown trees.
With rose-wreathed windows singing in the breeze?
Oh, master of that house, why not have planned
Of springing grass the paths on your fair land? 
And hung a little wicket gate, made white, 
For any child to swing on as its right?
I know what happened in the fruiting hour;
The cherries of that singing tree turned sour. 
Ah, touched with faery should a dwelling be, 
Companioned by a foaming cherry tree.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 November 1934

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Since Then by Henry Lawson

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I met Jack Ellis in town to-day --
   Jack Ellis -- my old mate, Jack --
Ten years ago, from the Castlereagh,
We carried our swags together away
   To the Never-Again, Out Back.

But times have altered since those old days,
   And the times have changed the men.
Ah, well! there's little to blame or praise --
Jack Ellis and I have tramped long ways
   On different tracks since then.

His hat was battered, his coat was green,
   The toes of his boots were through,
But the pride was his!  It was I felt mean --
I wished that my collar was not so clean,
   Nor the clothes I wore so new.

He saw me first, and he knew 'twas I --
   The holiday swell he met.
Why have we no faith in each other?  Ah, why? --
He made as though he would pass me by,
   For he thought that I might forget.

He ought to have known me better than that,
   By the tracks we tramped far out --
The sweltering scrub and the blazing flat,
When the heat came down through each old felt hat
   In the hell-born western drought.

The cheques we made and the shanty sprees,
   The camps in the great blind scrub,
The long wet tramps when the plains were seas,
And the oracles worked in days like these
   For rum and tobacco and grub.

Could I forget how we struck "the same
   Old tale" in the nearer West,
When the first great test of our friendship came --
But -- well, there's little to praise or blame
   If our mateship stood the test.

"Heads!" he laughed (but his face was stern) --
   "Tails!" and a friendly oath;
We loved her fair, we had much to learn --
And each was stabbed to the heart in turn
   By the girl who -- loved us both.

Or the last day lost on the lignum plain,
   When I staggered, half-blind, half-dead,
With a burning throat and a tortured brain;
And the tank when we came to the track again
   Was seventeen miles ahead.

Then life seemed finished -- then death began
    As down in the dust I sank,
But he stuck to his mate as a bushman can,
Till I heard him saying, "Bear up, old man!"
   In the shade by the mulga tank.

     .    .    .    .    .

He took my hand in a distant way
   (I thought how we parted last),
And we seemed like men who have nought to say
And who meet -- "Good-day", and who part -- "Good-day",
   Who never have shared the past.

I asked him in for a drink with me --
   Jack Ellis -- my old mate, Jack --
But his manner no longer was careless and free,
He followed, but not with the grin that he
   Wore always in days Out Back.

I tried to live in the past once more --
   Or the present and past combine,
But the days between I could not ignore --
I couldn't help notice the clothes he wore,
   And he couldn't but notice mine.

He placed his glass on the polished bar,
   And he wouldn't fill up again;
For he is prouder than most men are --
Jack Ellis and I have tramped too far
   On different tracks since then.

He said that he had a mate to meet,
   And "I'll see you again," said he,
Then he hurried away through the crowded street
And the rattle of buses and scrape of feet
   Seemed suddenly loud to me.

And I almost wished that the time were come
   When less will be left to Fate --
When boys will start on the track from home
With equal chances, and no old chum
   Have more or less than his mate.

First published in The Bulletin, 23 November 1895;
and later in
In the Days When the World Was Wide and Other Verses by Henry Lawson, 1900;
The Sun (Kalgoorlie), 6 September 1903;
The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), 23 August 1903;
Silence Into Song: An Anthology of Australian Verse edited by Clifford O'Brien, 1968;
The World of Henry Lawson edited by Walter Stone, 1974; and
A Camp-Fire Yarn: Henry Lawson Complete Works 1885-1900 edited by Leonard Cronin, 1984.

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

See also.

The Blue Hills by Ruth M. Bedford

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My own blue hills! When morning's mist,
   Arising slowly, melts away,
And they are faintly amethyst
   And softly grey.

I love them -- love their every change,
   My hills -- my own familiar friends! 
Out to the furthest purple range
   My love extends.

Bright noonday finds them deeply blue,
   And when the sun in glory sets
The distant mountains take the hue
   Of violets.

Oh from their solemn beauty mild
   Some healing influence steals to steep 
My troubled spirit, as a child
   Is hushed to sleep.

And though life lead me far apart
   To lands whose strangeness cramps and chills,
They still shall calm and keep my heart,
   My own blue hills!

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 November 1924

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

New House by Henry Halloran

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Oh! strive, once more I say, my countrymen! 
To lift us up above the breath of shame, 
And win for us, as ye may win, a fame
From all who speak and all who wield the pen.
In our great country's honor cleanse ye, then, -- 
The taint of former days were worse than blame, 
And would have marr'd the most exalted name 
And made us bye-words in the mouths of men. 
Only behold yourselves as we behold,
The stewards of the Future, writ about
With prophesies of greatness far more bright
Than greatness of old States, where might is right. 
Be faithful to our trust, which scorneth doubt
But is resolved a strict account to hold.

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 21 November 1885 

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

The Prodigal's Reply by Harry "Breaker" Morant

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Some time ago Bob crossed the foam
   And sailed for Cool-gar-dee,
And when our hard-up boy came home,
   No wealthier was he!

We saw him -- at "the Rising Sun,"
   And o'er an "s.-and-b."
We asked if Dad his prodigal son
   Was mighty pleased to see?

"Perchance now you have been, old chap,
   So long -- and far -- away.
The Guvnor's put the wine on tap,
   And killed the calf to-day?"

The Prodigal laughed a weary laugh
   Whilst sadly answered he:
"Dad didn't kill no fatted calf,
   But d---d near slaughtered me!"

First published in The Bulletin, 20 November 1897;
and later in
The Poetry of 'Breaker' Morant: from "The Bulletin" 1891-1903 with original illustrations by Breaker Morant, 1980.
Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Mobilite by Emily Coungeau

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I sought the fragrance of the Roses' breath  
   Bending beneath their burden of sweet dew.
How could I reconcile the thought of death
   With blooms which in such matchless beauty grew?
I sought the Lily, pure as a pale bride.
   So stately with its waxen petals wet,
Green-stemmed and slender, and it gently sighed,
   "Yet a few days and all my sun is set."

I sought the woods wherein the whispering wind
   Chanted a lullaby into my listening ear,
And faintly came an echoing voice behind,
   "E'en as the leaves I change and disappear."

I sought old Ocean with its ceaseless moan
   Flinging white clinging arms of spumy spray
To grasp the shore, then in a solemn tone
   It made reply, "I too must pass away."

I sought the Stars which in their orbits sway
   And just as day obscures their brilliant light  
The star of Faith, though doubt may cloud the way,    
   Illumes with fervent glow the mists of night.

Oh! earth. Oh! heaven. Oh! death, which is but Life,    
   That still small voice within doth ever say,  
Here for a season set amid the strife,
   Live thou thy best for all must pass away.

Passing away where crowns and sceptred right
   Kings lowly meekly lay before the Throne
And saints with creeds, and sinners, in the light
   Of God's great dawn, will worship Him alone.

First published in The Brisbane Courier, 19 November 1913;
and later in
Rustling Leaves: Selected Poems by Emily Coungeau, 1920; and
A Book of Queensland Verse edited by J.J. Stable and A.E.M. Kirwood, 1924.

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Posted Missing - Kingsford Smith by Emily Bulcock

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Live dully; guarding well the coward flesh
Safe in well-trodden paths, through easy years,
Barren of fire and splendour; in their mesh
Catching no glint of glory; this were wisdom.
The Earthworm knows not risk of upper spheres!

But, ah! the flashing moment in the sun!
The dragon-fly that shames all sober things!        
Lark-song that ceased not till the heights were won.    
Flesh clothed with flame, that burnt its fleshly barriers  
And dared the royal challenge danger flings.
So these quick souls who, while we breathless stare,          
Wave to their plodding fellows, and are gone.  
Give us new paths on land and sea and air,                            
Give us unbounded worlds to dream upon.                    
Lyric or laurel-- it were poor repayment.
Chafed with Earth's bounds, have they flown further on?  

First published in The Courier-Mail, 18 November 1935

Note: The subject of this poem is the Australian aviator Charles Kingsford Smith (1897-1935) who was reported missing over the sea to the north of Darwin on 8 November 1935.

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Mountain Mist by Ivy Moore

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My heart is caught by the mountain mist,
   By glamour of soft blue haze:
The glint of light where the rivers twist,
   Like argent beneath my gaze!

My heart is caught by the mountain mist,  
   Where the pines and heather grow:
And one may wander where'er one list,
   To the peaks with crests of snow!

My heart is caught by the mountain mist,  
   By azure of pool and tarn;  
The glory of rainbow sky sun kist,
   The cattle around the barn.

My heart is caught by the mountain mist,
   By the blue smoke from the farm;
The lovely song of the birds, I wist.
   That falls on my soul like balm.

My heart is caught, by the mountain mist,
   At dawn with its rosy glow;
Or mystic night when the stars keep tryst,  
   O'er the sleeping land below. 

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 November 1934

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

In Mulga Town - A Song by Will H. Ogilvie

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We played at love in Mulga Town,
   And oh, her eyes were blue,
We played at love in Mulga Town,
   And love's a game for two.
If three should play, alack-a-day!
   There's one of them will rue,
         Dear Heart,
   There's one of them will rue.

Three played at love in Mulga Town,
   True love they could not hide;
Three played at love in Mulga Town,
   Two laughed: the other sighed;
Though two may woo the wide world through,
   But one may kiss the bride,
         Dear Heart,
   But one may kiss the bride.

Three played at love in Mulga Town,
   And one's too sad to weep;
Three played at love in Mulga Town,
   The creek runs dark and deep;
So warm she flows no mortal knows
   How cold her dead may sleep,
         Dear Heart,
   How cold her dead may sleep.

First published in The Bulletin, 16 November 1895;
and later in
Fair Girls and Grey Horses: With Other Verses by Will H. Ogilvie, 1958.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also

To the Lions by Furnley Maurice

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   Come not again, dear sun,
   Unless you bring
   Ardor less weary a little.
   Sweet hope not so brittle,
   And quiet from the groves
   My heart so loves --
The quiet where, with spread and spotted wing,
   The brown quail run.

   Hang there awhile, low moon;
   I fear the day,
   Roads and the panniered asses,
   The silly wayside lasses.
   The laugh of the fool that gapes
   Trampling his tub of grapes;
Hang there a little while. Here I will pray
   For quiet soon.

   I have loved girls and lost -
   Loved God and lose.
   Have not the foaming horses
   Raging the chariot courses,
   Panthers and dungeoned apes
   Twisted the shapes
Of passion? There is nothing left to choose
   At nothing's cost!

   Some singing, some o'er-cast,
   Some without lamps,
   Around the seventh column,
   Turbaned and solemn,
   Full-burdened. black and brown,
   The slaves go down;
So the procession of my prophets tramps
   Endlessly past.

   What's night to me or day?
   Storm or soft airs?
   The gleam of ponded fishes?
   The wells of wishes?
   'Tis peace, dear peace, I need
   And a heart freed;
For love, vain love. tortures in gold-spun snares
   My spirit away.

First published in The Bulletin, 15 November 1923;
and later in
The Gully and Other Verses by Furnley Maurice, 1937.

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

The Coming of the Drought by Dorothea Dowling

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I have seen him on the hill-tops,
I have glimpsed him in the gullies,
Where the leaves are burnt to cinders
And the creek-bed cracked and dry;
I have heard him laugh derision
At the waterfall's slow trickle,
Sensed the panting silence tremble
With the echo of his cry.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 November 1936

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

Honest Poverty by Charles Harpur

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While some for wealth, and some for birth,
Claim honor -- there is naught I see
More honorable on the earth
Than Honest Poverty.

What motive hath the millionaire
To cheat or steal -- or rather what
(To keep his dealings ever fair)
Strong motive hath he not?  

But when amid the hungry woes
Of Poverty's disastrous war,  
Shines honesty -- O then it shows
More glorious than a star!

But what if cowardice but keeps
The poor man's tempted will from vice?  
Ask they who sneer where Brotherhood weeps --
What call they cowardice?  

If he who needs yet dares not touch
Unrighteously his neighbour's store,
A coward is -- God keep him such
A coward evermore.

Let Wealth and Birth world-honored be,
But on a juster-nobler plan,
The hero of his God is he,
The Poor yet Honest Man!

First published in The Sydney Chronicle, 13 November 1847;
and later in 
The Poetical Works of Charles Harpur edited by Elizabeth Perkins, 1984.

This poem was published with the following author's note: There is no Poem I have written more opportune in its spirit than this one, or more calculated, if taken heartily, to operate wholesomely, by purging our individual sympathies of a great social disease.  A dishonest shame of honest poverty is the all-pervading ignobility of the times. Rather than be poor, men will readily become any thing they should not. Rather than be thought so, they will lie; rather than appear so, from their associations, they will abandon their own blood; rather than live so, they will swindle; and rather than die so, they will die damned. Fools! what fear they? Are they philosophers? Socrates was poor. Are they poets? Homer begged his bread, being blind; and   Burns died, as the mighty Wordsworth lives, an exciseman. And finally, are they Christians?   Their great and perfect-minded Master had not where to lay his head! Shame then upon this meanest of all the manifestations of cowardice! To give the sum of the whole question in a word: wealth in itself is only an honorable attribute when it is the uninherited fruit (and therefore the evidence) of industry, probity and skill; and poverty only dishonorable to any, when it manifestly proceeds from sloth and irrectitude.

The Wind by Walter D. White

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Over the roof of the world I fly --
Snow clouds drifting beneath the sky,
The desert dust I blow afar,
To realms beneath the Evening Star.

I come from where dread Tamerlane
Left half a million tribesmen slain;
From Gobi's waste and Cathay's host
I scourge the Coromandel Coast.

And on and on o'er storied lands,
Swift-winged I haste to distant strands,
To where, beneath the sunset glow,
Vast London Town spreads out below.

I smite the Orkneys lone and drear,
I fill the fisher folk with fear;
And on to where great surges roll
And icefields guard the Northern Pole.

From North to South afar I go,
O'er mountains white with winter's snow;
I cross the Line with rush and roar,
And lightly kiss the Austral shore.

Where Sydney's perfect haven lies
Dreaming beneath her turquoise skies --
Until at length I sink to rest
Upon the ramparts of the West.    

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 November 1932

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

Armistice Day, 1933 by C.J. Dennis

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This we have said: "We shall remember them."
   And deep our sorrow while the deed was young.
Even as David mourned for Absolem
   Mourned we, with aching heart and grievous tongue.
Yet, what man grieves for long? Time hastens by
  And ageing memory, clutching at its hem,
Harks back, as silence falls, to gaze and sigh;
   For we have said, "We shall remember them."
"Age shall not wither..." So the world runs on.
   We grieve, and sleep, and wake to laugh again;
And babes, untouched by pain of days long gone,
   Untaught by sacrifice, grow into men.
What should these know of darkness and despair,
   Of glory, now seen dimly, like a gem
Glowing thro' dust, that we let gather there?-
  We who have said, "We shall remember them."
Grey men go marching down this street today:
   Grave men, whose ranks grow pitifully spare.
Into the West each year they drift away
   From silence into silence over there.
Unsung, unnoticed, quietly they go,
   Mayhap to rest; mayhap a diadem
To claim, that was denied them here below
   By those who vowed, "We shall remember them."
"We shall remember them."  This have we said.
   Nor sighs, nor silences devoutly planned
Alone shall satisfy the proud young dead;
   But all things that we do to this their land --
Aye, theirs; not ours; of this be very sure;
   Theirs, too, the right to credit or condemn.
And, if the soul they gave it shall endure,
   Well may we say, "We have remembered them."

First published
in The Herald, 11 November 1933

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

See also.

Irony by J. Braham

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Many members at home, speaking of our national defences, say that Britain is totally unprepared for war, and that some of our most cherished possessions are practically defenceless.

Will your people take our country?
   Saod the ptressman to the Jap.
No, we'll not have such effront'ry,
   Said the truthful little chap
Not a rumour have I heard;
The idea is too absurd.
You may take my sacred word,
   Of its truth there's not a scrap.

You've a fertile land, and healthy,
   Said the Consul to the pro.,
With wool, wheat, and gold 'tis wealthy,
   As we Japanese well know.
You've strong forts all round your coast,
Of huge ships a mighty host,
And we all should be "on toast"
   If we tried to land. Oh, no!

You're a jew'l bright in Britain's crown,
   Said the Consul, with a grin.
And who would brave proud England's frown
   That precious gem to win.
In security you bask,
Why such foolish questions ask?
You but simply wear a mask,
   And to taunt us is a sin.

Many nations look with longing,
   Said the little Jap. once more.
With their troops would here be thronging
   Could they only get ashore.
Your defences are so sound,
Not a single vantage ground
In Australia can be found:
   Why risk shedding useless gore?

First published in Melbourne Punch, 10 November 1910

Author reference sites: Austlit.

See also.

How the Favourite Beat Us by A. B. "Banjo" Paterson

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"Aye," said the boozer, "I tell you it's true, sir,
   I once was a punter with plenty of pelf,
But gone is my glory, I'll tell you the story
   How I stiffened my horse and got stiffened myself.

"'Twas a mare called the Cracker, I came down to back her,
   But found she was favourite all of a rush,
The folk just did pour on to lay six to four on,
   And several bookies were killed in the crush.

"It seems old Tomato was stiff, though a starter;
   They reckoned him fit for the Caulfield to keep.
The Bloke and the Donah were scratched by their owner,
   He only was offered three-fourths of the sweep.

"We knew Salamander was slow as a gander,
   The mare could have beat him the length of the straight,
And old Manumission was out of condition,
   And most of the others were running off weight.

"No doubt someone 'blew it', for everyone knew it,
   The bets were all gone, and I muttered in spite
'If I can't get a copper, by Jingo, I'll stop her,
   Let the public fall in, it will serve the brutes right.'

"I said to the jockey, 'Now, listen, my cocky,
   You watch as you're cantering down by the stand,
I'll wait where that toff is and give you the office,
   You're only to win if I lift up my hand.'

"I then tried to back her -- 'What price is the Cracker?'
   'Our books are all full, sir,' each bookie did swear;
My mind, then, I made up, my fortune I played up
   I bet every shilling against my own mare.

"I strolled to the gateway, the mare in the straightway
   Was shifting and dancing, and pawing the ground,
The boy saw me enter and wheeled for his canter,
   When a darned great mosquito came buzzing around.

"They breed 'em at Hexham, it's risky to vex 'em,
   They suck a man dry at a sitting, no doubt,
But just as the mare passed, he fluttered my hair past,
   I lifted my hand, and I flattened him out.

"I was stunned when they started, the mare simply darted
   Away to the front when the flag was let fall,
For none there could match her, and none tried to catch her --
   She finished a furlong in front of them all.

"You bet that I went for the boy, whom I sent for
   The moment he weighed and came out of the stand --
'Who paid you to win it? Come, own up this minute.'
   'Lord love yer,' said he, 'why you lifted your hand.'

"'Twas true, by St. Peter, that cursed 'muskeeter'
   Had broke me so broke that I hadn't a brown,
And you'll find the best course is when dealing with horses
   To win when you're able, and KEEP YOUR HANDS DOWN.

First published in the Rosehill Race Book, 9 November 1894;
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; 
My Country: Australian Poetry and Short Stories, Two Hundred Years edited by Leonie Kramer, 1985;
A.B. Paterson's Off Down the Track: Racing and Other Yarns by A.B. Paterson, 1986;
Favorite Australian Poems, 1987;
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; and
A. B. "Banjo" Paterson: Bush Ballads, Stories and Journalism edited by Clement Semmler, 1992.

Inland by Mervyn O'Hara

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The curling smoke blown back from ships  
   That leave the misty land;  
And the long drawn kiss of the ocean's lips  
   On the brown neck of the sand.
The surf's thunder -- the salt smells,  
   And the skylines distant blue,  
And the long swing of the green swells --
   All those -- all those -- I knew!

All these were mine; but now I pass
   My days behind the sea,
Among hills, on plains that are rolling in grass.
   I hear like a murmurous bee
Singing, the sound of the fugitive creeks,
   That slip through the briar and the fern;
But a soft sighing when one speaks
   Is all that my heart can learn!
The bush it seems is half afraid
   To voice its secret thought;
It breathes still where I have stayed,
   Wherever I have sought;
But the stars at night bring glimpses and gleams
   Of the coastlands back to me,
And, instead of the dust of the straining teams,
   I can taste the spray of the sea.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 November 1924

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

Author reference site: Austlit

A Law-Abiding Citizen and the Betting Act by W. T. Goodge

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Of all the worthy gentlemen
   Whom one would wish to see
There was no better citizen  
   Than William J. Magee.

His character was so precise,
   It seemed without a flaw,
And he was full of sound advice
   To those who loved the law!

He was a private gentleman
   Of independent means;
Or, as the coarse expression ran,
   "A cove with whips o' beans!"

Some men would lead a life of ease
   If they were in his place!
(Don't think he was a lawyer, please,
   For such was not the case!)

Of moral Acts of Parliament
   He stood in constant awe,
And wrathfully would he resent
   Infractions of the law!

He never was a man to scoff
   At any law! In fact,
He was a strict observer of
   The Sunday Closing Act!

Supreme Court Judgments he'd obey
   Just as they came along,   
Until the High Court said that they
   Were absolutely wrong!
To local laws, good, bad, and worse
   One always found him leal
Until the usual reverse 
   Was granted on appeal!

He often said he really thought
   (This was his playful way)
That many Bills were merely brought
   For leading him astray!

Yet every time he would obey
   What laws they might arrange,
And read the papers every day,
   To note the slightest change!

Perhaps you'll say: "Well, that's all right!"
   But just you wait a bit!
That might be right, perhaps it might,
   But that's not all of it!

Not only did this person hold
   A breach of law a shame;
He also held, or so I'm told,
   That all should think the same!

And when a citizen began
   To be a trifle "slim,"
This very worthy gentleman
   Would soon admonish him!

I cannot say this always pleased
   The folks he would correct;
But if he felt his conscience eased,
   What more could man expect?

The bookies used to pull his leg,
   And ask in anxious tone
If it were wrong to lay an egg
   Or a foundation stone!

He'd watch the builders at their tricks,
   And say, with knowing nods,
"I's right enough to lay the bricks,
   But do not lay the hods!"

One day his buggy-wheel got jammed,
   Right in the tramway track.
A car came up, and it was crammed! 
   The tramguard cried, "Pull back!"

"Pull back your dromedary!" cried
   The passengers in force.
"I can't!" the worthy man replied;
   "It's wrong to back a horse!"

When someone else backed out the horse
   With promptitude and tact,
Our hero "took a certain course!"
   Under the Gaming Act!

And William J.
Magee would say,
   When he had time to pause:
"At least I am as sensible
   As those who make the Laws!"

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 7 November 1906

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Poetry Library

See also.  

To the Ironbark by Maybanke Anderson

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   We'll sing a song for the Ironbark,
   The tree of the land we love.
His skin is tough, but his heart is true,
Winter and summer the whole year through,
In morning sun and evening dew,
He waves green leaves to the azure blue,
   The brave old tree of Australia.

   A sturdy gift was the Ironbark
   To the men who built Australia.
Walls and roof for the homes they made,
While the billy boiled and the children played,
Rest and peace in the leafy shade,
Love of the gum tree ne'er shall fade
   From the mem'ry of Australia.    

   The oriole sits near her pendant nest
   On the fringe of the Ironbark,
Watches the teams that come and go,
While the bush she loves, and the trees lie low,
Sees the men with the plough walk to and fro,
And homes and orchards and wheat fields grow,
   In her own green home, Australia.

   Like her, we'll sing to the Ironbark,
   The tree of our native land,
When the aisles of the bush are dim and cold,
When banners of mist each arch enfold,  
While the moon draws patterns of faded gold
His vigil he keeps like a knight of old,
   The gallant tree of Australia.  

   No tree so brave as the Ironbark,  
   No other land can claim him,.  
When skies are dark, and the wind's a gale,
He laughs at the clouds as they hurrying sail.
For naught cares he come storm, come hail,  
A warrior king in a coat of mail,
   The Ironbark of Australia.

   Then stand we firm like the Ironbark,
   The tree of the land we love.
From the good brown earth to the sunlit air,  
Whether the wind blow foul or fair
Beauty and service and love we'll share
With the tree of a land beyond compare --
   The land of our hope, Australia.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 November 1926

Author: Maybanke Susannah Anderson (1845-1927) was born in Surrey, England, and arrived in Sydney with her parents in 1855. A disastrous first marriage forced Anderson to support herself and her family by opening a school in the 1880s, Maybanke College.  Anderson was active in early feminist politics in Australia and in 1894 she began the feminist newspaper Woman's Voice.  A successful second marriage to philosophy professor Sir Francis Anderson followed.  She died while on tour in Europe in 1927.

The Box Tree's Love by Barcroft Boake

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Long time beside the squatter's gate
A great, grey box-tree, early, late,
Or shine or rain, in silence there
Had stood and watched the seasons fare.
Had seen the wind upon the plain
Caress the amber ears of grain,
The river burst its banks and come
Far past its belt of mighty gum:
Had seen the scarlet months of drought
Scourging the land with fiery knout.
And seasons ill and seasons good
Had alternated as they would;
The years were born, had grown and gone,
While suns had set and suns had shone,
Fierce flames had swept, chill waters drenched,
That sturdy yeoman never blenched.

The tree had watched the station grow,
The buildings rising row on row,
And from that point of vantage green,
Peering athwart its leafy screen,
The wondering soldier-birds had seen
The lumbering bullock-dray draw near,
Led by that swarthy pioneer,
Who, gazing at the pleasant shade,
Was tempted, dropped his whip and stayed,
Brought there his wanderings to a close,
Unloosed the polished yokes and bows;
The bullocks, thankful for the boon,
Rang on their bells a merry tune.
The hobbles clinked, the horses grazed,
The snowy calico was raised;
The fire was lit, the fragrant tea
Drunk to a sunset melody
Timed by the day before it died,
To waken on earth's other side.
There 'twas beneath that box-tree's shade
Fortune's foundation-stone was laid;
Cemented fast with toil and thrift
Stone upon stone was laid to lift
A mighty arch, commemorate
Of one who reached the goal too late.
That white-haired pioneer, with pride,
Fitted the keystone; then he died:
His toil, his thrift, all to what boot?
He gave his life for Dead Sea fruit:
What did it boot his wide domain
Of feathered pine and sweeping plain,
Sand-ridge and turf? for he lay dead,
Another reigning in his stead.

His sons forgot him; but that tree
Mourned for him long and silently,
And o'er the old man's lonely bier
Would, if he could, have dropped a tear;
One other being only shared
His grief, one other only cared.
And she was but a six years' maid --
His grandchild, who had watched him fade
In childish ignorance, and wept
Because the poor old grandad slept
So long a sleep and never came
To smile upon her at her game,
Or tell her stories of the fays
And giants of the olden days.
She cared, and as the seasons sped,
Linked by the memory of the dead,
They two, the box-tree and the child,
Grew old in friendship, and she smiled,
Clapping her chubby hands with glee,
When for her pleasure that old tree
Would shake his limbs, and let the light
Glance, in a million sparkles bright,
From off his polished olive cloak;
Then would the infant gently stroke
His massive bole, and laughing try
To count the patches of blue sky,
Betwixt his leaves, or in the shades
That trembled on the grassy blades
Trace curious faces, till her head
Of gold grew heavy, then he'd spread
His leaves to shield her, while he droned
A lullaby, so softly toned
It seemed but as the gentle sigh
Of Summer, as she floated by;
While bird and beast grew humble-voiced,
Seeing those golden ringlets moist
With dew of sleep. With one small hand
Grasping a grass-stem for a wand,
Titania slept; Nature nor spoke,
Nor dared to breathe, until she woke.

The years passed onward, and perchance
The tree had shot his tufted lance
Up to the sky a few slow feet,
But one great limb grew down to greet
His mistress, who had ne'er declined
In love for him, though far behind
Her child-life lay, and now she stood
Waiting to welcome womanhood;
She loved him always as of old;
Yet would his great roots grasp the mould,
And knotted branches grind and groan
To see her seek him not alone;
For lovers came and 'neath those boughs
With suave conversing sought to rouse
The slumbering passion in a breast
Whose coldness gave an added zest
To the pursuit, but all in vain
They spoke the once, nor came again
Save one alone who pressed his suit
(Man-like, he loved forbidden fruit)
And strove to change her nay to yea
Until it fell upon a day
Once more he put his fate to proof
Standing beneath that olive roof,
And though her answer still was "no"
He, half-incensed, refused to go,
Asking her, had she heart for none
Because there was some other one
Who claimed it all, whereon the maid
Slipped off her ring and laughing said:
"Look you, my friend, here now I prove
The truth of it, and pledge my love,"
And poised on tiptoe, touched a limb
That bent to gratify her whim;
She slipped the golden circle on
A tiny branchlet, whence it shone
Mocking the suitor with its gleam,
A quaint dispersal of his dream.
She left the trinket there, but when
She came to take it back again,
She found it not; nor though she knelt
Upon the scented grass, and felt
Among its roots, or parted sheaves
Could it be found, the box-tree held
Her troth for aye: his great form swelled
Until the bitter sap swept through
His veins and gave him youth anew.

With busy fingers, Lank and thin,
The fatal Sisters sit and spin
Life's web, in gloomy musings wrapt,
Caring not when a thread is snapped,
What harm its severance may do --
Whether it strangleth one or two.

Alas, there came an awful space
Of time, wherein that sweet, young face
Grew pale, its sharpened outline pressed
Deep in the pillow, for a guest,
Unsought, unbidden, forced his way
Into the chamber where she lay.
'Twas Death! -- outside the box-tree kept
Sad vigil, and at times he swept
His branches softly, as a thrill
Shot through his framework, boding ill
To her he loved, and so he bade
A bird fly ask her why she stayed.
The messenger, with glistening eye,
Returned, and said, "The maid doth lie
Asleep. I tapped upon the pane,
She stirred not, so I tapped again.
She rests so silent on her bed --
Tired, that I fear the maid is dead;
For they have cut great sprays of bloom
And laid them all about the room.
The scent of roses fills the air,
They nestle in her breast and hair,
Like snowy mourners, scented, sweet,
Around her pillow and her feet."
"Ah, me!" the box-tree, sighing, said;
"My love is dead, my love is dead!"
And shook his branches till each leaf
Chorused his agony of grief.

They bore the maiden forth and laid
Her down to rest, where she had played
Amid her piles of forest spoil
In childhood; now the sun-caked soil
Closed over her. "Ah!" sighed the tree,
"Mark how my love doth come to me."
He pushed brown rootlets down and slid
Between the casket and its lid,
And bade them very gently creep,
And wake the maiden from her sleep.
The tiny filaments slipped down
And plucked the lace upon her gown;
She stirred not when they ventured near,
And softly whispered in her ear.
The silken fibres gently press
Upon her lips a chill caress;
They wreathe her waist, they brush her hair
Under her pallid eyelids stare.
Yet all in vain; she will not wake --
Not even for her lover's sake.
The box-tree groaned aloud and cried:
"Ah, me! grim Death hath stole my bride.
Where is she hidden? Where hath flown
Her soul? I cannot bide alone;
But fain would follow." Then he called
And whispered to an ant that crawled
Upon a bough, and bade it seek
The white-ant colony, and speak
A message, where, beneath a dome
Of earth, the white queen hath her home.
She sent a mighty army forth
That fall upon the tree in wrath,
And, entering by a tiny hole,
Fill all the hollow of his bole;
Through all its pipes and crannies pour,
Sharp at his aching heart-strings tore;
Along his branches built a maze
Of sinuous, earthen-covered ways,
His smooth leaves shrunk, his sap ran dry,
The sunbeams laughing from the sky
Helped the ant workers at their toil,
Sucking all moisture from the soil.

Then on a night the wind swept down
And rustled 'mid the foliage brown.
The mighty framework creaked and groaned
In giant agony, and moaned,
Its wind-swept branches growing numb,
"I come, my love! my love, I come!"
A gust more furious than the rest
Struck the great box tree's shivering crest
The great bole snapped across its girth,
The forest monarch fell to earth
With such a mighty rush of sound
The settlers heard it miles around,
While upward through the windy night
That faithful lover's soul took flight.

The squatter smiled to see it fall,
He sent his men with wedge and maul
Who split the tree, but found it good
For nothing more than kindling-wood.
They marvelled much to find a ring
Asking themselves what chanced to bring
The golden circlet which they found
Clasping a branchlet firmly round.
Foolish and blind! they could not see
The faithfulness of that dead tree.

First published in The Bulletin, 5 November 1892;
and later in
Where the Dead Men Lie and Other Poems by Barcroft Boake, 1897; and
Barcroft Boake: Collected Works, Edited, With a Life edited by W. F. Refshauge, 2007.

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

See also.

The Song of Polaris by Robert Adams

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The mighty stars of Heaven come forth,
   From the halls of night, in their ancient range!  
But I, alone in the stedfast north,
   In moveless splendour, which knoweth no change,
For ever, through polar skies shine down
   As the pilot's lode star, to warn and save,
With my lonely beacon beam on high,
   Whilst he compassless sails the wild sea wave!  

When the awful glory of God shines forth,
   In the mystic change of the deep midnight,
With rapturous awe I watch from the north
   His Angel legions, and seraphs of light,
As they bear His message from star to star
   'Midst the answering praise of their lightning race,
As shining in wondrous splendor afar,
   They gleam in His glory-through farthest space,
And I changeless glow on the endless snow,
   Which shrouds with its mantle of death the land,
Which hath slept whilst the ages come and go,
   And where never a mortal foot may stand!  

Where through the clear black purple night,
   With never a dawn for a hundred days,
It's desolute loneliness to light --
   The pinnacled iceberg grows always
With cold blue bastion and crystal tower,
   Where silence and solitude frozen sleep
With its vast bulk wreathed in the slow snow shower,
   And floating a hundred fathoms deep!  

I saw Sidonias' fleets of old
   Set sail as the silver morning star
Grew pale in the roseate glow of gold,
   Which flushed through the eastern heavens afar,
And watched them creep through the "pillared gate"  
   And fearless steer for the northern isle,
With faith in me, as their star of fate,
   And trustful led by my moveless smile,
O'er the trackless sea, through the deepest night,
   'Midst the wind's and the water's wildest stress,
'Till they saw the cliffs loom greyly white
   Of the faerie land of Lyonnesse!  

In many a lone and fathomless fiord,
   I watched the "Raven's" fierce wings unfurl'd,  
Whilst the Norsemen chanted the "Song of the Sword"
   And sailed for the south to ravage the world!  
And the tawny Lion as fiercely bold
   (His flag flung forth to the northern breeze)
I have watched, as his lone ship staggering roll'd
   'Midst the grinding ice of the polar seas!  
Whilst each heart of oak with frost-bound beard,
   And the dauntless will of a stedfast soul,  
With resolute smile and a strong hand steer'd
   Through the freezing wrack, for the frozen pole!  

Lo! where she reigns, on her island throne!    
   Britannia! Queen of the seas of the world!    
With her sceptre stretching from zone to zone,
   And the wings of her wandering fleets unfurled
To zephyr and tempest-in every clime,
   With a sturdy steadiness never dismay'd
Through a thousand glorious years of time,
   The fiercest in battle, and foremast in trade!  

For the charter to rule the strong sea tide
   Is the power to seize, and the strength to hold -
The courage to dare! - and the brain to guide!
   The resolute will that is prompt and bold! --
And never the sceptre shall pass away
   From the island sons of the old Vikings,
Whilst valour and justice and mercy sway
   The heart and the hand, which fearless flings
The banner of freedom to the breeze,
   And sails with its flowing cross unfurled
With a navy which whitens the loneliest sea,
   And the open oceans of all the world!  

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 4 November 1876

Author reference site: Austlit 

See also.

Truant by Zora Cross

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The little folk are out to-day;
I know it by the magic way
Each flowery paddock, hill, and stream
Calls like the elfkins of a dream.

Come, Peter, Molly, Joe, and Nell,
Ring high the happy playtime bell!
Break Teacher Time's old-fashioned rule,
And let the whole world out of school.

A merry, merry mile from Thought
And all the books of men are nought
But fairy fabrics broidered fair
With teasing riddles light as air.

Come Colin, Connie, Meg, and Nance,
Blow up the pipes of sweet Romance;
And while youth dances tip-a-tap,
Crown Age with Simple Simon's cap.

First published
in The Sydney Mail, 3 November 1920

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of BiographyOld Qld Poetry

See also.

The Cattle Hunters by Henry Kendall

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While the morning light beams on the fern-matted strams,
   And the waterpools flash in its glow,
Down the ridges we fly, with a loud-ringing cry --
   Down the ridges and gullies below;
And the cattle we hunt, they go racing in front,
   With a roar in the distance like waves;
As the beat, and the beat, of our swift horses' feet,
   Starts the echoes away from their caves!
      As the beat, and the beat,
      Of our swift horses' feet,
   Starts the echoes away from their caves!    

Like a thundering shore that the billows ride o'er,
   All the lowlands are filling with sound;  
For swiftly we gain, where the herds on the plain,  
   Like a tempest, are tearing the ground!  
And we'll follow them hard, to the rails of the yard,
   O'er the gulches and mountain tops gray,
Where the beat, and the beat, of our swift horses' feet,
   Will die with the echoes away!  
      Where the beat, and the beat,
      Of our swift horses' feet,
   Will die with the echoes away!    

First published in The Empire, 2 November 1861; 
and later in 
The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 November 1861, and 11 May 1866;
The Illawarra Mercury, 6 December 1861;
Poems and Songs by Henry Kendall, 1862;
The Athenaeum, 17 february 1866;
The Round Table, 17 March 1866;
The Poets and Prose Writers of New South Wales edited by G.B. Barton, 1866;
Leaves from Australian Forests by Henry Kendall, 1869;
The Children's Treasury of Australian Verse edited by Bertram Stevens, 1913;
Selections from Australian Poets edited by Bertram Stevens, 1925;
New Song in an Old Land, edited by Rex Ingamells, 1943;
Australian Bush Songs and Ballads edited by Will Lawson, 1944;
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;
Selected Poems of Henry Kendall edited by T. Inglis Moore, 1988;
A Treasury of Bush Verse edited by G.A. Wilkes, 1991; and
The Penguin Book of Australian Ballads edited by Elizabeth Webby and Philip Butterss, 1993.

Note: this poem is also known by the title The Song of the Cattle Hunters.

November by Lola Gornall

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Clover in the young, green turf,
   Like a creamy foam of surf,
Breaking earth's brown lethargy,
   With its summer's prophecy,
While up and down the red roadside
   The dandelions, like soldiers, ride,
Radiant in golden coats,  
   Emerald buttons at their throats.  

In the fields where yesterday
   Only the barren furrows lay
A thousand shoots of every grain
   Lift eager heads of hope again,
And, just returned from alien skies,
   The restless swallow in new guise,
His circling wings unfurling,
   Keeps whirling whirling, whirling.

Into dividual liberty,
   Each tiny leaf, each flower and tree,
Earth-bound and lost so long,
   Springs green, and glad, and strong. . .
Even the snail upon the thorn
   Puts forth a llttle horn,
Glad to be numbered with the least
   Partaking of November's feast.  

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 November 1924

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

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