The Gum Tree by C.J. Dennis

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By the side of the track the gnarled old gum 
   Lifts strong arms to the sky; 
He marks the rare bush toilers come, 
   And the tourists trooping by. 
So has he stood thro' many a year 
   And watched them come and go; 
They change, says he, who pass by here, 
Yet forms are straight and eyes are clear, 
   As in the long ago. 

From bullock drays to motor cars, 
From gloom to lights that shame the stars, 
   Change comes indeed; from garb they wore, 
   From moleskin pants to the wide plus four, 
From tall bush wives of sterling grit,   
To laughing girls in riding kit; 
   An outward change, says the old gum tree, 
   But the race seems much the same to me. 

By the side of the back the old gum stands, 
   Last of his giant race, 
Who saw these men from distant lands 
   Change all a country's face. 
From his mountain side where the old gum grows 
   He has watched the fathers press 
Who came not back; but well he knows 
Today's strong men are sons of those   
   Who tamed the wilderness.

First published in The Herald, 11 June 1931;
and later in
The Advertiser and Register, 22 August 1931.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on June 11, 2013 7:17 AM.

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