The Project Gutenberg eBook of Off the Bluebush, by John Philip Bourke

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: Off the Bluebush

Verses for Australians West and East

Author: John Philip Bourke

Editor: A.G. Stephens

Illustrator: Ned Wethered

Release Date: February 12, 2023 [eBook #70030]

Language: English

Produced by: David Wilson and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at


[Frontispiece: Off The Blue Bush By JP Bourke]

To the West
and the People of the West
Golden State of Golden Hearts
So Warm, So True
So Generous in their Welcome of a Wanderer
Women and Men
The Fondest and the Best
Who, even for me, Made Life a Brave Adventure
With all the Love that I shall never speak
This poor token of reverence,
All I could, for all I would
I humbly offer.

John Philip Bourke.

When I am dead
Bring me no roses white,
Nor lilies spotless
And immaculate,
But from the garden roses red,
Roses full blown
And by the noon sun kissed,
Bring me the roses
That my life has missed
When I am dead.
[Illustration: Portrait of the Author]




Edited by A. G. STEPHENS
Illustrated by NED WETHERED

22 Castlereagh Street


Copyright—First Edition. 2,000 copies, including 30 copies for Subscribers separately printed and bound and numbered and 25 Superior copies separately bound and numbered, published 1st August, 1915.—Wholly set in type and printed in Australia by Morton’s Ltd., 75 Ultimo Road, Sydney.


J. P. Bourke’s verses were contributed originally to The Sun, Kalgoorlie—chiefly during the editorship of Mr. C. W. Andrée Hayward, for whose cultivated appreciation Western rough-writers owe much—and to The Sunday Times, Perth.

The preliminary account of Bourke is reprinted, with some revision, from a series of articles contributed to The Leeuwin, Perth.

The illustrations by Mr. Ned Wethered represent the promising effort of a Western Australian designer and illustrator, almost wholly self-taught, aged twenty. Their youthful defects are apparent; yet they depict life, character, and scenery in a Western mining town with a gusto that preserves faithfully the spirit of the verses.

On behalf of Bourke, I record his expressed gratitude for the help which, contending with many difficulties, Ned Wethered gave to his friend.

A. G. S.

[Decoration: Black Swan]













































































[Decoration: Gold mining camp]

[14] [Decoration: Man leading camel]

































































When I am dead


With head erect I fought the fight


[Decoration: Gold miner with dolly pot]

With head erect I fought the fight
    Or mingled with the dance,
And now I merge into the night
    With utter nonchalance.


We singers standing on the outer rim,
Who touch the fringe of poesy at times
With half-formed thoughts, rough-set in halting rhymes,
Through which no airy flights of fancy skim—
We write “just so,” an hour to while away,
And turn the well-thumbed stock still o’er and o’er,
As men have done a thousand times before,
And will again, just as we do to-day ...

If I could take that rosebud from its stem,
And weave its petals in a simple rhyme,
So you could hear the bells of springtime chime
And you could see the flower soul in them—
Or else, we’ll say, a magpie on the limb,
Greeting the sunrise with its matin song—
To catch the music as it floats along,
And link its spirit to a bush-child’s hymn.

Or, if—but then the limitations rise,
Like barriers across the mental plain,
And mists and things obscure the rhymer’s brain,
And dull his ears, and cloud his blinking eyes.
And so we write as Nature sets her gauge—
No worse than most, and better, p’raps, than some;
—But should a man remain for ever dumb
When only rhyming fills his aimless page?


They say that, when Abraham Lincoln had seen Walt Whitman, he summed his impression in the emphatic “This is a man.” That is what one feels in reading the verses of Western Australian [18] writers—“This is a man.” The work of the tribe of pseudonymous writers in Western newspapers—especially Kalgoorlie Sun and Perth Sunday Times—the work of “Bluebush” and “Dryblower,” “Crosscut,” “Prospect Good,” and the rest—is the most virile and the most original poetry that has been made in Australia since the Commonwealth began. “Here’s manhood,” I say, and “Here’s Australian manhood.” For vigour and versatility the East at the moment has few writers to rival this little Western comradeship.

The East has more refined writers, more cultivated and more artistic writers; but not more manly writers.

Poetry is a man’s work if it performs a man’s deeds. When, on the night of 24th April, 1792, Rouget de l’Isle tramped his lodging-house room “with a head of ice and fire” to compose “The Marseillaise,” how many deeds were his exultant verses worth! How vainly he himself would have fought to achieve the feats of swelling valour to which his art inspired others. In a literary aspect the words are little more than a rant:—

“Aux armes, citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons!”

But this rant, as Carlyle says, when added to the stirring tune, “will make the blood tingle in men’s veins; and whole armies and assemblages will sing it with eyes weeping and burning, with hearts defiant of death, despot, and devil.”

The vigorous Western Australian verses that I praise are of that kind and approximate to that standard. They are written in peace, and cannot gain the hottest of mortal ardours, the exultation of war. But if there were [19] Australian war, here are the men to write our marching songs.

There is a literature of art, and there is a literature of humanity. The one kind does not exclude the other; the best poetry is human in impulse, artistic in expression. Yet inevitably, as verse is written, there are found writers with a languid pulse whose finest effects are gained by a decorative use of language, and opposed to these are the writers who use the oldest rhymes, the oldest rhythms, to give impetus to the messages of emotion that fly hot from their hearts.

This Western Australian poetry is often inartistic; it is often a poor thing considered as literature; but how broadly and strongly it appeals to our humanity! how graphic it is! how humorous or tragic! and how natural! It is written, for the greater part, not from a head to a head, but from a heart to a heart; and in its most effective passages it has the same force of sincerity, the same truth of vision, the same sympathy, that make the old ballads a precious possession, and that have captivated thirty centuries with the stories and descriptions of Homer.

There must be allowed, also, to the little school of Western Australian writers, besides their vigour and vivacity, a real singing talent, and no slight mastery of striking phraseology. Often enough their subjects are commonplace, yet it is rarely that their treatment of a subject is entirely commonplace. Almost always there is found a personal touch that in its way and to its extent is a true style, and a style effective to move the readers to whom it is addressed. It is said that the Arabs are careful not to tread on any scrap of written paper lest [20] it should contain the sacred name of Allah. In the same manner I think that every lover of poetry is careful not to contemn the rudest rhyme that may contain a heartbeat. That is to say that every lover of poetry is a faithful Catholic. He may like some kinds of poetry better than others, yet he finds every kind a good kind—however stiffly or crudely it succeeds in transferring its content of emotion. If it does not hold and convey emotion, then it is not poetry, no matter how fine its form or how famous the name of its author. I value this little wild garden of verses the more because it grows in Australia. Doubtless, its Australian appeal detracts from its quality considered as universal literature; yet that detraction is balanced by the additional attraction it has for readers here and now. I am not concerned to measure out comparative credit, but only to emphasise the point that we have here something that is worthy our credit.

The opinion offered, the attitude taken, follow after reading some hundreds of representative Western verses. The merit of those verses is to be found in the impression one receives from the whole—an impression gained from many patches of gold that shine in the quartz. An artist may touch everything with mastery. These writers are not artists, but men who utter the measures and rhymes that come to them often unsought; they are poetical interpreters of life and manhood. Accept them in that guise, and they need no justification from another’s hand: they justify themselves.

John Philip Bourke, who wrote for The Sun, Kalgoorlie, scores of stanzas that ring harshly or melodiously, but that ring true, has set down his page of Western history over the signature of “Bluebush.” Between East [21] and West his honours are easy; for he springs from the East, but it is the West that has inspired him. He was born in August, 1860, on the Peel River Diggings, New South Wales; he was born with the wandering blood. At the age of seventeen he sold his first reef to Clarke, of Gullandaddy station, for £600; then for seventeen years he settled down as a school teacher. In 1894 he went West and roughed it on the mining track.

He was pretty consistently lucky in making small “rises” of from £200 to £1000 (with a “record” of £1,250), but he never handled a wingless coin. His old Hunter River stock was mostly of Irish blood: does that account for a free hand and a blessing on a generous heart? Yet until his death he faced the world with a roguish eye and with bright and dark years of experience to write about. He died at Boulder, W.A., on 13th January, 1914.

The Sun praised him justly. “He was a writer of verse that appealed to everyone by its rugged force, its fertility of ideas, its truth and the spirit of human sympathy and true mateship which permeated every line. Straight as a gunbarrel and unfaltering in his denunciation of all that savoured of the mean, the paltry, or the unjust, Bourke was the whitest and the most lovable of men. Gifted with a keen insight into human nature and unlimited power of happy expression, he was a staunch friend and a true mate, and no man on the fields was more personally popular.”

What did Bourke write? The verse that appeals to wanderers, to reckless men, to men who have fought and lost, fought and won, fought and wasted their winnings [22] in all the ways of all the earth. Wasted? Not all wasted; not most, it may be.

What is a purse? A thing to scatter free.
    What is a talent but a gift for joy?
What is life’s lesson? To live heartily
    To man’s utmost, like a happy boy.

It is a doctrine that must be preached cautiously; yet it is the best doctrine of all. So many people miss life by not grasping it; in saving other things they spend life itself: and at the end there is pity for those who cannot say “Vixi!” Let Bourke express himself:

I have no wild desire to sing and sing
Or kneel at Nature’s feet, and be her mummer.
Poetic fancies are not rioting
For liberty, like prisoned birds in summer.
No thoughts, like maiden hair, climb round and cling
To rhyming roosters writing on a thrummer;
But frowsy devils, round the camp to-night,
Suggest alone the commonplace and trite.

There is no bubbling spring within my clay;
I hold no lyrics straining at the tether;
My bones would drift right into blanket hay
If it were not such rough financial weather.
I’d never pen a par, or lay a lay,
Or deck ambition’s cady with a feather
If I could clutch a whisky piping hot,
A plate of hash, a pension and a pot.

But Bourke does himself injustice. His is a strain of toiling life once again made vocal—the real truth of real toil, as it may happen, as it has happened to thousands who have struggled “to gain from the West her [23] glorious golden prize”—and who have gained and have squandered, or have died struggling, or have “gone out on flukes,” as Bayley did, “with the new life just begun.”

Got no time to ruminate! Got no time to read!
Got no time to foller on! Got no time to lead!
Got no time to stoop and pluck the daisies by the pad!
Got no time for triflin’, for hobby-horse or fad!
Got no time to pass remarks! Got no time to write!
Got no time to sky the wipe—only time to fight!
Only time for graft and grind, dog and dough and dust!
That’s the tune the music plays—scratchin’ for a crust.

From such a life as that stanza depicts, almost inevitably men turn to intoxicating liquor for consolation or for oblivion. Any reader of Western verses must see first how large a part liquor plays in life, and secondly, how large a part of that life, that life in the desert, in the sand, in the wilderness, can only be assuaged by liquor. Bourke writes:

What’s the use of sittin’
    Dry as blessed chips?
What’s the use of spittin’
    Through our corn-beef lips?
What’s the use of drinkin’?
    Well, that ain’t so clear
To my way of thinkin’—
    Let us have a beer.

“A Drunk’s Defiance” is a human plea. But Bourke urges the other side still more strongly—“No more verses in praise of wine!”

Shirking the fight that a man should fight,
Dodging the joys that a man should know,
Scorning the breath of a plumed thought’s flight—
Down with the swine and the husks below!
[24] ’Tis thus we reap from the seeds we sow—
Hearts grow withered and locks grow white,
Dodging the joys that a man should know,
Shirking the fight that a man should fight.

There are keen sight and shrewd sense underlying Bourke’s verses. There is sentiment, too, intermingled with pathos, in many places—as in “His Letter from W.A.”

It’s scarcely six months since I left Cooranbean,
    But seems longer than all of last year;
The moon ain’t so bright and the grass ain’t so green,
    And the sky, somehow, isn’t so clear.
Oh! I’d give all their towns to the very last brick,
    And the mines with the forchins they yield,
Just to hear the old ripple of Cooranbean crick,
    And the rustle of corn in the field.

And “Her Letter” came back:

You mind the moss rose that grew over our gate,
    Our old gate where we whispered “Good-bye”?
Oh, how often I go there and wonder if Fate
    Has one blessing a girl’s wish could buy—
I am wearin’ a bunch in your favourite dress,
    With the flounces and streamers of blue,
And though p’r’aps it is silly, I have to confess
    I am wearin’ my heart out for you.

Is that not a sympathetic expression of honest feeling, of true affection, that has gone out thousands of times to “the boys in the West”? In pieces like “Old Bill Bates” the note of mateship is struck; the note that has been the keynote of so many Western lives linked in the hearty give-and-take comradeship of two men—two bound closer, almost, than husband and wife, by long-shared [25] years of effort together. “At Bummer’s Creek” warrants all that has been said of the manly virtue of Western poetry—and is there anyone who has worked with men who has not found Dave’s mate?

We two were fitted, j’int for j’int,
    And toiled and starved and spreed,
But one’d watch around the stump
    When t’other one was treed,
The same when Luck was in full bloom
    As when she run ter seed.

That is not refined poetry; but it is essentially poetry; and let us never forget that all the refinements of life spring from precisely such realities as are illustrated by this humble “battler.” That a lady from whose body and mind every speck and thought of defilement are kept, may walk sedately down the shady side of St. George’s Terrace, some such man as Bill’s mate must have sweated crudely in the region of Kalgoorlie. The fancy is far-fetched, but it has a real basis; a large part of the burden of civilization is borne by “humble battlers;” and it is to the breed of these “battlers” that we look for civilization’s defence in the day of challenge. Let not the flower despise its roots.

The lines for “Our Goldfields Spring” are outspoken:

For here you are thus early soiled and tanned
    A sorry subject for a verse creator,
A damned inverted pewter in your hand,
    Some draggled immortelles around your crater.
They speak, somehow, of drought, and dust, and sand,
    And summer’s hell that’s waiting for us later,
And flies innumerable and small black ants,
And several thousand other irritants.

“Beer is Enough” is another piece full of racy virtue, expressed with perverse ingenuity:

Beer is enough. Let Love roost on his perch,
    And coo and coo his breath away at will—
The bride in orange blooms—the ivied church—
    The two-roomed kipsy sheltered by the hill—
Sweep them aside and fetch the frothing bowl
To warm the cockles of one’s inmost soul.
                Beer is enough.

Or take this sardonic expression of the doubt of Love:

There’s a new chap born in the world to-day,
    And an axe laid close to the root of doubt.
When I hear you speak in that soulful way
    Of a love to last till the stars go out—
        But Mignonette!
        Will you love me yet
When the duns come in? ... ’Tis an even bet.

Will your faith still shine when the world grows grey?
    When the Autumn comes, will your heart grow sere?
Will you wear the smile that you wear to-day
    When you wear the hat you wore last year?

Many such stanzas may deserve to be called coarse. A man can defend them and enjoy them, because they are not vulgar; they are not affected or insincere; they express the primitive man as he is found—under more or fewer layers of veneer—in every other man who is worth a woman’s salt. The work of John Philip Bourke must be taken now and then with a good deal of salt; but it holds the meat and mettle of manhood.

[Illustration: Top Branch]


Just now and then when evenings creep
    With languid feet to meet the sea,
The days go by to sleep their sleep
    With all the past eternity—
When earth takes on the wondrous hue
    Far shed from arcs beyond our ken,
We weave a vagrant verse or two,
                            Just now and then.

Just now and then, ere shadows fall
    Across the threshold of the door,
And restless hands upon the wall
    Retrace Ambition’s creed no more—
Apart from cankered strife and stress
    That urge the stumbling feet of men,
We scrawl a verselet purposeless,
                            Just now and then.

Just now and then, though time glides on
    From scene to scene, from year to year,
Till every “Cloth of Gold” is gone,
    Till every leaf is brown and sere,
Life’s picture holds no glinting sheen,
    We seek the inky shrine again
To paint our landscape gold and green,
                            Just now and then.

Just now and then a lilting thought
    May break the reign of monotone
That claims our camp to hold its court,
    That claims our chair to hold its throne.
Thrice welcome, then! on silent wing,
    The friends who come from hill or glen
To overthrow life’s tyrant king,
                            Just now and then.

Just now and then, when skies are clear,
    And winter evenings wilt and wane,
Beside the glowing hearth we hear
    The echo of some old refrain—
Some half-remembered distant dream
    That calls the rhymer’s halting pen
To mend a broken rhythmic theme
                            Just now and then.

[Decoration: Black Swan]


Away! Away!
Let sluggards stay
        The sluggish ruck within,
While Beauty stands
With outstretched hands
        To welcome those who win!
And gems divine
And wealth and wine
        Are strewn upon the board,
Where life and love
Go hand and glove,
        Like slaves before their lord!

The motors fly,
The ships go by,
        The tram-cars whizz and whirr—
I see them pass
As in a glass,
        Where dim-limned shadows stir:
I long to hail
Some friendly sail
        Ere all the throng be past—
Then failure’s sense
And indolence
        Reach down and hold me fast.

Away! Away!
To act to-day!
        The victor’s creed is Now
A cloudless brain,
An easy rein,
        A firm hand on the plough!
Aside is flung
The pall that hung
        From damned Inaction’s mast ...
Then half-thought themes
And dreamer’s dreams
        Reach down ... and hold me fast.

[Illustration: Man seated at desk]


What does it matter
        Though wealth pass by,
Where follies flatter
        And red lips lie—
Though cloud shades darken
        The spring-time sheen,
And dull threads mingle
        Life’s woof between—
Which winds blow whither
        O’er land and sea—
What does it matter
        To you and me?

Here at the door of
        Our Peace-thatched cot
Cosmea nods, and
Seems to say from
        Its eyes of blue,
“Life is fairest
        Where hearts are true!”

And far beyond, where
        The world is wide,
Where wrecked lives drift on
        An ebbing tide,
There is a garland
        A queen may wear,
Of sweet boronia
        And maidenhair.
Never grey thyme, or
        A spray of rue
Tarnish the garland
        I’ve twined for you!
Let love-fires light, in
        Each fragrant gem
A setting fair for
        Your diadem!

What though its petals
        May, one by one,
Pale grow and pass with
        The mid-day’s sun—
Though velvet fingers
        At midnight’s hush
Shall paint your tresses
        With silvered brush—
Though shadows creep, and
        The earth grows wan,
Our love will last
        As the years roll on!

With hand in hand, with
        Our hearts that beat
Time to the music
        Of twinkling feet—
Wrapped in a dream that
        Will live and last
Into the night
        When the day is past—
Though sails be set for
        The shoreless sea—
What will it matter
        To you and me?

[Decoration: Man with swag walking away]


I love you, Sweetheart! better far than all;
    And still will love, with love that makes or mars,
When round my head eternal curtains fall,
    And sleep shall close the eyelids of the stars:
    Though all the houris of celestial bars
Should lure me on with eyes of liquid light,
    Joined to the wondrous music of guitars,
Without you there, my blood were cold and white!

Beyond that phase of something some call death
    I want to love you always, just as now—
To feel my cheek fanned by your clover breath,
    And feel your hand press sometimes on my brow:
    I would not turn one instant from the plough,
But follow on from starry fence to fence,
    And question not the whither, whence, or how,
With you as earnest of God’s providence!

And when at last my evening glooms and greys,
    And when, at last, my last sun westward dips,
And I go out upon dim, unknown ways
    Where men are borne on heavenly spirit-ships,
    I’ll watch and wait their oft-returning trips,
Hoping for you to step upon the quay,
That I may clasp you heart to heart with me,
    And kiss you ... thus ... upon your rose-red lips!


The strenuous rhymer appals me to-night
    With the pitch of his strenuous song
That shrieks for the god or the goddess of Right!
    Or that lashes the legions of Wrong
    With a vicious and venomous thong—
                            By Crumbs!
    With a knotted and merciless thong!

He points, with the pointer of arrogant rhyme,
    To the pathway of Wealth and Renown,
Where weary fools falter and fall, as they climb
    To their Goal, that so grimly looks down
    From its gloomy and sinister crown—
                            Ah me!
    From its blasted and desolate crown!

And still, on the stretch of the moon-silvered sand,
    With the ripple of waves on the bar
There comes, from a point jutting down from the land,
    A discordant Voice, echoing far:
    “Steer your boat, steer your boat for a star!”
                            There you are!
    And the Voice is quite sure of the star!

And to-night, dear Eileen! in our cockle-shell ship,
    To our star that is constant and true,
We will float on the stream where the willow-boughs dip
    ’Neath a sky that is wondrously blue,
    And a myriad eyes twinkle through—
                            All for you!
    And for me, while I live loving you!

Let earnest men answer the crack of the whip,
    With their shibbolethed banners aflap—
On the fur-covered planks of our cockle-shell ship,
    As I lie with my head on your lap,
    I do not care one Commonwealth rap
                            What may hap!
    Not — one — blooming — young — Commonwealth — rap!

Let other hands delve ’mid the garbage and grime,
    And let other lips puff till they blaze—
Oh! ’tis weary work marching when fools beat the time—
    But ’tis easy to drift and to laze
    All our nights and our jubilant days,
                            Sweet Eileen!
    All our nights, starry nights, and our days!


Stay we here as the crowd goes by,
    Twining along the street—
Listless steps and a half-breathed sigh;
    Laughter and twinkling feet:
Care-worn faces where Time has set
    Pathos in every line:
Budding Hope with a dead Regret—
Rue and roses and mignonette
    Bunched in a queer design!

One is clad in a purple gown;
    One in a skirt of grey;
Brushing past where the lights beat down,
    Following each her way:
One is marked by a barefoot son;
    One by a florid beau,
Tangled still was the skein she spun—
She who slept when the day was done ...
    Say—was it ordered so?

See who comes with the drunkard’s gait
    Out from the taproom door!
He was born to a man’s estate,
    White to his inmost core:
Few were turned from the Master’s hand
    Fit to compare with Jim ...
Now by the world despised and banned,
Clear as day shows the damning brand
    Destiny placed on him!

Fools may prate of a will that’s free,
    Else of their strength and brain:
Know they not that the jarrah tree
    Only splits with the grain?
Think they not that a man denies,
    Or takes his faith on trust—
Not from the words of the foolish wise,
Not from the vision of sightless eyes—
    But just because he must!

So pass they, while the music plays,
    Tramping to God knows where:
Some goal His in the outer haze
    Waiting the pilgrims there;
But if, as preachers aver, it be
    Part of some changeless plan
Typed in the shop of Eternity,
Never a sentence, my friends, did we
    Write for the play of “Man”!


A fig for the world and its carping cares,
    Its worry and wear and fret—
A fig for the poppies that passion wears,
    Fast followed by dull regret:
A fig for the glitter, and gilt, and gaud
    That’s won in a tawdry strife,
Filling the world with the clash of swords—
Marring the sweetest of human chords
Born in the valleys where dreamers wait,
    Dreaming the dream of Life.

If I own no love for the arts that mould
    The minds and the souls of men,
There lurks no charm in the miser’s gold,
    Or the heft of the writer’s pen.
I wear no frown for the clod below,
    No cringe for the clown above;
For I tread but the path where the roses blow,
And I pin one bud to her breast of snow,
And I weave a glorious wreath to crown
    My goddess of Peace and Love.

Her liquid eyes are a hazel grey
    And her lips are ruby red,
And the dusk of the night and the light of day
    In the depths of her glance are wed.
The old world hustles on eager feet,
    And its songs are the songs of strife,
But we stand aside from the glare and heat
And we draw the curtain of Love’s retreat—
This dainty spirit of youth and I
    Dreaming the dream of Life.

A fig for the warrior’s crown of fame!
    For the faithless world’s caress!
A fig for the poet’s or painter’s name
    Whose haven is nothingness!
A fig for the transient light divine
    That halos some godlike head!
For the Spring-time breaks and the stars all shine,
And the world goes round for this wife of mine ...
Oh, the spirit of languorous love will live
    When the spirit of strife is dead!

[Decoration: Man leading camel]


While the world’s a-bustle
        On the upward grade—
Straining brain and muscle,
        Plying pen and spade—
Let us go a-dreaming,
With your hair a-streaming ...
Cupid lies a-scheming
        ’Neath the mulga shade.

How the rabble clatters
        As it hurries by!
Chasing Passion’s tatters,
        Sighing Passion’s sigh.
Soft airs, sandal-scented,
Fan us: golden-tinted,
Like a landscape minted,
        Plain and hill-top lie.

Willy-willies whirling
        Play for me and you,
Curling up, and curling,
        Till they reach the blue:
Like a giant sweeping,
Creeping on, and creeping
’Mongst the trees, a-sleeping
        Mid-day’s languor through.

Bell-bird notes are swelling
        Upward from the glade;
Lovelorn swains are telling
        Love-tales worn and frayed:
Let them strain their tether!
You and I together
Never wilt a feather,
        Lolling in the shade.

Earnest souls, or sighing,
        Death has ever paid!
See pale Effort lying
        Rue- and wreath-arrayed!
Come then, Jean, a-dreaming,
With your hair a-streaming ...
Cupid lies a-scheming
        ’Neath the mulga shade.

[Decoration: Mining equipment]


There is no need to say Good-bye,
                            And weep;
There is no call on us for tear or sigh.
Men say: “Just as ye sow, so shall ye reap.”
                Is that, think you, a lie?

Now fate points out our different ways,
                            And so
We leave the spot where glamour clothed the days—
Leave for those duller worlds that lie below,
                With something like amaze.

No use to curse: whatever crossed
                            Our way:
No need for words: when hearts are tempest-tossed—
But those alone may know the cost, who pay,
                And bankrupt, pay the cost.


        Then life was young
        And roses hung
In gay festoons from star to star,
        And o’er the farm
        A silvered charm,
The moonlight, flooded full and far—
    The moonlight, telling wondrous tales
Of things that are not, and that are.

        How strange the thrall
        Around it all!
The subtle flapping of a wing!
        You plainly hear
        Each wheaten spear
Unto its neighbour whispering,
    And almost catch their secrets, too—
Those kindred children of the Spring!

        And, watching so,
        The branches throw
Fantastic shadows on the grass:
        How quaint and clear
        Their lines appear!
A woven way where fancies pass—
    Those secret bairns, that come to most,
And live and breathe—but die—alas!

        No longer chimes
        The gold of rhymes
That would make music, ay or nay!
        I number still
        The month, at will,
Clare gave to me a lilac spray ...
    ’Tis dead and withered now—how long?
An age, a year, or yesterday.

        Thus rhyme and spray
        Have turned to clay,
While Discord plays on life’s guitar ...
        ’Twere wise and meet
        To book a seat,
A cushioned seat, in Daphne’s car,
    While bright eyes shine, and roses twine
In gay festoons from star to star!

[Decoration: Gold mining camp]


I sit beside you, this last afternoon,
    And watch the sunset’s change from gold to grey,
    That mirrors well my life of yesterday
Where shadows, born of twilight, fell so soon.

And yet, you seemed so womanly and true—
    I never guessed “’Twas but to kill the time!”
    For I, who dwelt in Passion’s summer clime,
Played for a life that centred all in you.

I’ve spun no webs, as money-spiders spin,
    Nor stacked the shining shekels row on row;
    And yet I have one plea—I love you so!
And fatuously dreamed that love might win.

For me this old world smiled when you were by;
    Life’s circles spread their limits wider yet;
    There came no grey train-bearers of regret
To grace the triumph of hypocrisy.

My heart throbbed to the rustle of your dress;
    My soul drank in each message of your eyes;
    For Love, they say, is all our paradise,
And wanting Love, this life were nothingness.

But ere we part—O girl grown worldly-wise!—
    I place one glory-rose amid your hair,
    And kiss your lips, with something of despair:
For, Dear, I love you yet—and yet despise.


What use to puff a blackened fire
Grown emberless within the grate?
What use to twang a damaged lyre
That’s only half articulate?
        What use for dumb
        Desire to thumb
        The leaves of a curriculum
When other men matriculate?

’Tis vain to plan a fabric gay
With tangled warp and broken woof—
Just listen for a moment, pray,
—A magpie singing on the roof—
        Just hear, and then
        Throw down the pen:
        The songs and wings of common men
Are anchored to a leaden hoof.

And yet, are other days, that bear
No weight of pessimistic sin—
A laurel leaf for me to wear,
A thought to stir, a smile to win;
        And o’er the sea
        There comes to me
        The echo of a symphony
That sets the smiling world a-spin.

Now carmine-hued are Renée’s lips,
A thousand gleams light life’s old wine—
I tremble to the finger tips
To breathe devotion at her shrine;
        But while I write,
        Some blasting light
        Reveals my rose an ashen white
That crumbles in these hands of mine.

What use to fret a halting brain
While inspiration holds aloof?
And hark! the voice bursts forth again,
—A magpie singing on the roof—
        Just hear, and then
        Throw down the pen:
        The songs and wings of common men
Are tethered to a leaden hoof.

[Decoration: Mining with a windsail]


For many a year we wandered
            over hill and dale and mountain,
For ever pressing onward
            till we’re nearly worn and old:
Searching for some spot Elysian
            where the poets’ crystal fountain
Sings its songs of calm contentment
            in a valley draped with gold:

Where the flowers bloom for ever
            ’neath the sun’s life-giving kisses,
But never droop ’neath thirsty skies
            or feel the winter’s chill:
Where roses wreath an arbour
            where no fatal adder hisses,
And the promise of our youthful dreams
            our later days fulfil.

Then the purple flush of morning
            thrilled our careless hearts with pleasure,
And the sunbeams shooting downward
            with our spirit shared their glow:
Once every bell and buttercup
            that blossomed was a treasure—
In those days that we have dreamed of,
            in the misty long-ago.

But the joys of life would pall upon
            the heart that they for ever,
Unbroken by a shadow,
            lit with one eternal glare;
And the bonds of love are strengthened
            by the thought that they may sever,
And are hallowed in the memory
            of lives and loves that were.

The ropes of sand that bound us
            then appeared so deftly woven
That we noticed not each single grain
            the breezes swept away,
Nor underneath the robe of Beauty,
            silken-cased, the cloven
Hoof of Time, that swept the garlands
            into ruin and decay.

[Decoration: Horse-powered mining]

[Illustration: Middle Twigs]

[Illustration: Elderly wife and husband]

To-day is our diamond wedding, old wife!
    Some seventy summers and more
Since first we paired off in this battle of life
On thirty a year, and the run of a knife ...
    What! You say I’m a blessed old bore!

Oh, yes, now we are, I admit, pretty right;
    But still to that hard-grafting time
My mind often wanders in quiet delight
’Way down from the tree of prosperity’s height
    That our industry’s helped us to climb.

And I picture the day to the station we tramped
    With our characters safe in the swags—
A long weary walk, and, by George! you were camped;
And don’t you remember the lads had me stamped
    As one of Glint’s runaway lags?

Well! well! now I wonder is he living still—
    The super that then bossed the run,
You know he was “Captain,” and I “Bo’s’n Bill”
In those pleasant old days when we lived on the hill,
    And I scarcely knew life had begun.

A fine lot of fellows now, wife! were they not?
    And genuine, too, to the core;
And, if they weren’t quite on to the spot
In their speech—there’s one thing they never forgot:
    To leave the latch key in the door!

But then one ne’er dreamed as one worked straight ahead
    What the future held for us in store;
Nor that thrift would build up from this stringy-bark shed
A right little, tight little cottage instead,
    With enough in the stocking—and more.

We hadn’t much then in the furniture line—
    That’s not to call gorgeous, you know—
But still round it all there’s a glow of sunshine
That makes the blood dance in this old frame of mine
    In a stream that naught else can make flow.

Some magic hangs round the old iron-hooped tongs
    And the splutter the tallow-lamp made ...
All seem to my memory like beautiful songs
As they float on before me in numberless throngs
    From the depths of a fifty years shade.

But you must remember how proudly you’d bring
    Home the cheque at the end of the year:
Then you were a queen, lass! and I was a king;
Though we usedn’t to lunch off a butterfly’s wing
    Or any of that kind of cheer.

Have those pleasures all vanished, old girl! did you say?
    What! Tears in those precious old eyes!
No, lass! for you’re dearest and fairest to-day
When the golden-haired girl has grown wrinkled and grey ...
We’re together, and shall be for ever and aye
    In our home up above in the skies.

[Decoration: Gold miner with dolly pot]


What is the use of a sheaf of regrets?
    What is the use of a garland of sighs?
Ever is Destiny trailing her nets,
    A smile on her lips, and with hate in her eyes.
    Heedless the spirit, beseeching, that cries!
Helpless the mortal who sorrows and frets!
    What is the use of a garland of sighs?
What is the use of a sheaf of regrets?

Cast in the midst of the limitless skies,
    Lost in the æons that e’en God forgets.
Merely a life-light that flashes and dies,
    Merely a soul-spark that glimmers and sets—
    These are the glories that “being” begets,
Granted alike to the foolish and wise—
    What is the use of a sheaf of regrets?
What is the use of a garland of sighs?

Ah! but philosophy always forgets—
    Writ though the sentence, and cast though the dies—
Love may fly downward from God’s parapets,
    Fanning Eternity’s breath as she flies!
    Groundlings awake from their squalor and rise,
Destiny then may well gather her debts—
    What is the use of a garland of sighs?
What is the use of a sheaf of regrets?


Though to-day may groan ’neath its weight of care,
            and the sun be a raven’s wing
That darkens the faces of children fair
            and saddens the songs they sing;
I know it will change at the faintest touch
            from the hand of a God-sent Spring!

And I know, though the desert be grim and grey,
            and its life be a Lethe’s pond
Whose waters of indolence hold alway
            the spirits of men in bond,
Full well there is room for a strenuous life
            in the Land that is Just Beyond.

Thus we wait for the touch of a magic string
            and a glance of a love-lit eye:
For a breath from some spirit awakening
            that passes us clearly by:
—We legion of dreamers that drift and live,
            and dabble and drink—and die.

[Illustration: My Swag and I]

When I tramp forth attended by
        A retinue of “blues,”
And all the world and all its wife
        Are clothed in sombre hues,
Then life holds nothing much to win,
        And nothing much to lose.

’Tis little use to preach and pray,
        And none to fume and fret—
No solace dwells within the days
        Of love and lush and debt—
’Tis then I throw the bundle off
        And light a cigarette.

And seeking, so, some mental perch
        Upon some mental crag,
I straightway run the colours up
        Of self-assertion’s flag,
Assume a tragic air, and thus
        Apostrophise the swag:

“You’ve tarried closer far than friends,
        And closer too than foes;
You’re with me when the autumn falls,
        And with the first spring rose;
Though whence such fond affection comes
        The Devil only knows.

“You’ve driven me along the track
        Like mankind’s primal curse;
You’ve driven me—behold the proof!—
        To scrawling slipshod verse;
And every wrinkle in your face
        Denotes an empty purse.

“I know you well from stem to stern,
        From centrepiece to rim;
For many, many years ago
        You cost a modest ‘jim’—
Those years, those sun-tipped years! that now
        Live with the seraphim.

“Since then I’ve marched the dusty way
        That better feet have trod,
But always found, my bride! in you,
        An unresponsive clod;
Until we two have grown alike
        As peas within a pod.

“And yet to flirt with you I left
        A woman passing fair
(A pleasant girl who had for me
        A smile or two to spare),
A half-a-dozen quid a week,
        A couch and easy chair.

“I left——” But, ah! a wintry wind
        Awakes Matilda’s charms:
I calmly spread the old girl out
        And snuggle in her arms—
Untouched by sighs or sentiment,
        Unscathed by love’s alarms.


He died of thirst.

They tell no tale lugubrious
        Or horror finely spun,
Of martyr’s groans and human bones
        A-bleaching in the sun;
But those who cut beneath the bark
        May find the very pith
Of pathos, in the yarn they spin,
        Concerning Soaker Smith.

He never dogged on Bayley’s tracks,
        Nor battled through with Frost,
In wild times, when the souls of men
        Were torn and tempest-tossed,
Nor bore the brunt, nor claimed the rank
        Of fearless pioneer—
He was, in point of fact, a joint
        Who played his life for beer.

Smith sat upon the shanty floor
        With blazing eyes and brain,
While, from the sand, the impish band
        Of fantods sprang again:
[64] They mocked him with a phantom pot,
        They laughed and lured and lied—
“A pint! or I,” he howled, “must die
        Of thirst!”—and so he died.

Then all the tribe of whiskered wits
        That nourishes up North,
From rub-a-dubs and frowsy pubs
        Like one gay ghoul came forth;
And Blastus painted on a slab
        A dead marine, reversed,
And wrote, the knave, beside his grave,
        “Hic! jacet. Died of thirst.”

And still, around the shanty bar,
        When wit and humour fly,
They greet the tale that ne’er grows stale
        With wild hilarity;
But those who probe it to the core
        May find the very pith
Of pathos, in the yarn they spin
        Concerning Soaker Smith.

[Illustration: Pay Wash]

Did you ever drive on pay-wash in this land of boom and bust?
    Did you ever see gold glitter in the dull light of the glim,
Where the face is specked and sprinkled with the best of sovereign-dust,
    And you calkerlate your income at a pick-blow to the jim?

                        Hello, on top! Hello!
                        Hook on, and let her go!
Or we’ll never make our tucker in a five-ounce show!

Oh, the days go by like drinkin’—for it’s entertainin’ graft,
    And you hear your mate discoursin’ to the crowd around the brace,
As he tugs away the hide, and it goes skimmin’ up the shaft,
    While a smile ’ud trip a bullock jest illumernates his face—

                        Hello, on top! Hello!
                        Ease off, and have a blow!
We’ve a crushin’ in the paddock, and there’s more below!

Then you don’t dine any more on sodden flapjacks in the pan;
    And you don’t back under cover when you see a bit of skirt;
For there’s something in the atmosphere that bulges out a man
    When he’s drivin’ on the gutter, and there’s pay-gold in the dirt—

                        Hello, on top! Hello!
                        Jest rosin up your bow!
For we’ve got no time for sleepin’ when there’s corn to hoe!

But I’ll bet old Bill is dreamin’, and he’s driftin’ on the tide,
    Where his wife and kids is waitin’ for a dozen lengthy years
On their cocky-patch, and hopin’ till the last hope nearly died—
    And it’s safe to lay a dollar as his eyes is dim with tears—

                        Hello, on top! Hello!
                        This is boshter sile to grow,
F’r I guess our plotch ’ll answer mor’n a ’tater to the row!

But a man ain’t got no time to dream with plenty work in sight,
    When he’s got the cream of all the lead right through from pay to pay;
For you can’t get rich on dreamin’, and you can’t shift dirt with skite,
    And the gold stream only dribbles in a keg-o’-treacle way—

                        Hello, on top! Hello!
                        Is’t frost up there or snow?
I’d back you ’gainst a fun’ral any day for goin’ slow!

Some day when we’ve her bones picked bare, and got her gutted clean,
    We’ll travel over East, and see what yaller dust can buy;
And old Bill and me, I reckon, will be right and all serene,
    If we only keep our thirst at bay, and keep our powder dry—

                        Hello, on top! Hello!
                        Let down the rope, and throw
The sling; you’d keep a man all night ’thout singin’ out “Yo, ho!”

[Decoration: Man with swag walking away]

[Illustration: Miners outside hotel]

You come not with the dainty air and grace,
    And wreathing smiles, that clothe the Eastern season—
A maiden lithe of form, and fair of face,
    To wheedle lovers from the ranks of reason:
You do not come in riots of pink lace,
    For Western bards to perpetrate a wheeze on,
And cover, in a frenzy, page on page
With all the rhymer’s threadbare persiflage.

We seek in vain the fern-wreaths on your gown,
    The dew-drop jewels in your carpet spreading—
Those pæans from the bush-land and the town,
    Suggestive, quaintly, of a fairy wedding:
We wait expectantly—then truckle down
    To sleep on bags—no rose leaves for our bedding!
And wring our hands, and weep like anything ...
There is no copy in a Western Spring.

For here you are, thus early soiled and tanned,
    A sorry subject for a verse creator;
A damned inverted pewter in your hand,
    Some draggled immortelles around your crater:
They speak, somehow, of drought, and dust, and sand,
    And summer’s hell, that’s waiting for us later,
And flies innumerable, and small black ants,
And several thousand other irritants.

I do not like your rude, precocious stare;
    Your torrid temperature is disconcerting;
And, Lord! the frowsy draperies you wear
    Might well be made of gunnybags, or shirting;
And one could bet you never learned the rare
    And subtle art of scientific flirting—
To set the tune, and lead the boys a dance,
Through many a labyrinth of sweet romance.

Yet still our own! though scoffers mock and mar;
    And at your feet I lay this sapless jingle,
That, if too dry, may moisten at the bar
    Where sundry goddesses and groundlings mingle—
Where modest Martha’s conduct grows bizarre,
    And Virtue’s self is often short a shingle:
And soaked, thus, in the dregs of beer and wine,
Once more I shy the garland at your shrine!

Yet, after all, the joyous feet of Spring
    Trip to the tune the pipes of Pan are playing
In every clime where Youth may have its fling,
    And Love, unweighted by life’s cares, goes straying.
Look not where last year’s rose lies withering!
    Heed not the pessimistic asses braying!
But fetch your gauds, and place them on Her brow—
Life’s best delusion is beside you now.

[Decoration: Man leading camel]


What’s the use o’ laughter,
        What’s the use o’ strife,
To a gloomy shafter
        In this team of Life?
Hear the whips a-crackin’
        Through the atmosphere,
When the traces slacken—
        Let us have a beer.

What’s the use o’ flayin’
        Loathsome gads and drills?
What’s the use o’ payin’
        Other people’s bills?
Let the missus hustle,
        Let the kinchins clear;
I’m not goin’ to bustle—
        Let us have a beer.
What’s the use o’ prayin’?
        ’Taint no use to curse;
What’s the use o’ layin’
        ’Gainst the winning hearse?
Man at best’s a rotter,
        Fried and frizzled here;
Hell can’t be no hotter—
        Let us have a beer.

What’s the use o’ sittin’
        Dry as blessed chips?
What’s the use o’ spittin’
        Through our corn-beef lips?
What’s the use o’ drinkin’?
        Well, that ain’t so clear
To my way of thinkin’—
        Let us have a beer.

What’s the use o’ frettin’
        Cos you missed the pot?
What’s the use o’ gettin’
        In a tied-up knot
Bet you can’t unravel
        If you tried a year?
No, that cop don’t travel—
        Let us have a beer.

What’s the——? Oh, I’m toilin’
        Down the Boulder way—
Only just been spoilin’
        Arf a quid a day.
Now you bet I’m chargin’
        Homewards at my top.
·        ·        ·        ·
What’s the use o’ bargin’
        With a white-eyed slop?

[Illustration: HELL FOR LEATHER]

            What though the day
            Be dull and grey,
    The earth bestrewn with ashes—
            Hope’s magic lamp
            Lights up his camp
    With rainbow-tinted flashes!
His eyes, with some unwonted beam,
    Grow soft as any feather,
            Since Luck slid through
            The kipsy flue,
    To smile on “Hell for Leather”!

            The jade and he,
            Since ’Ninety-three,
    Had not so much as spoken:
            The goods she sold
            Were gilt—not gold—
    And promises were broken;
[75] But “Hell for Leather” scratched along
    As desperation scratches,
            A harlequin,
            Beclobbered in
    A rig of shreds and patches!

            When Hunger grim
            Shaped up to him,
    He’d scorn to take it sitting;
            But answered back,
            With crack for crack,
    Nor ever thought of quitting;
And oft he’d say, though buckled belt
    And backbone came together,
            “Some day, I’ll bet,
            Will Fortune yet
    Chum in with ‘Hell for Leather’!”

            His frame was lean:
            His eyes shone keen
    Beneath their shaggy awning:
            Somewhere ahead,
            He always said,
    A brighter day was dawning!
And oft, around the hatter’s camp,
    Would fact with fancy scamper,
            What time he’d munch
            His frugal lunch
    Of potted dog and damper.

            But years, at last,
            Must win the cast,
    And locks grow white and whiter;
            For Time is tough
            To belt and cuff,
    Though sturdy be the fighter:
Yet so it happed, ere Winter fell,
    Like frost on Highland heather,
            Good luck slid through
            His chimney flue,
    To smile on “Hell for Leather”!

            And so the tale
            With cakes and ale
    Is garnished, ere ’tis ended;
            And so the stress
            And bitterness
    With soothing oil are blended;
And far away, by out-back pads,
    Where battlers stretch the tether,
            And starve or roast,
            They’ll drink the toast
    Of “Good old ‘Hell for Leather’!”


Got no time to ruminate! Got no time to read!
Got no time to foller on! Got no time to lead!
Got no time to stoop and pluck daisies by the pad!
Got no time for triflin’ with hobby horse or fad!
Got no time to pass remarks! Got no time to write!
Got no time to sky the wipe!—only time to fight—
Only time for graft and grind, dog and dough and dust;
That’s the toon the music plays: scratchin’ for a crust.

Got no time to whine and pray! Got no time to curse!
Got no time for trickin’ thoughts out in shreds of verse!
Got no time to wear a smile—no, nor raise a laugh!
Got no time for siftin’ grains out of tons of chaff!
Got no time to touch the Muse on the funny bone!
(Got no chance indeed, at all, catchin’ her alone!)
Got no time to reason why—takin’ things on trust—
That’s the way we whistle it: scratchin’ for a crust.

Got no time to do a smoodge! Got no time to wed!
(Anyway it wouldn’t do—not on soda bread!)
Got no coin to treat a pal! Got no face to hum!
Nigh forgettin’ how they taste—tanglefoot and rum!
[78] Got no time for feelin’ bad! Got no time to peg!
Got no time to shake a paw—let alone a leg!
Stoo-pan’s fallin’ out of use! brain-pan’s gone to rust!
That is how our programme reads: scratchin’ for a crust.

Got no time to argify! Politics is dead—
Happy Jack and Texas Green sittin’ on its head!
Got no time for livin’, scarce!—eatin’ dog and dirt;
Feel’s if ants was in my block, buzz-flies in my shirt!
(Got no time to shake ’em out! Got no time to scratch!)
Got no blanky oof to board! Got no guts to batch!
Guess there’ll have to be a change, else somethin’s bound to bust—
Sinkin’, drivin’, beltin’, blastin’, battlin’ for a crust.

[Decoration: Mining equipment]


Well, as you’re so pressing, don’t mind if I do—
    What, a pint? Yes, a pint! I should smile at your query—
There’s a wonderful balm in the cream of a brew
    For a soul that is fagged in a case that is weary.

It beats all your juggling illusions a mile,
    Whilst it clear overshadows the magic of Moses,
And it clothes the grey plains of existence awhile
    With the sunshine of spring and an odour of roses.

A pint! I should guess—we’ll increase it to two—
    I will ne’er be a bigot where beer is in question,
For if merely you take a sound practical view,
    It enhances the health and improves the digestion.

It smoothes the deep lines from the forehead of care,
    Till your enemy looms in the light of a brother,
And there’s peace—that strange peace that is lisped in the prayer
    Of the sleepy-eyed brat at the knee of his mother.

The old world chips in, in the guise of a friend,
    As the solvent of hops humanises and mellows,
And the limits of brotherhood stretch and extend
    Till the Devil himself seems the best of good fellows.

Then bring me a glass, or a tankard, or tank—
    And the last, if permitted a voice in the choosing:
For, in all the crimes’ calendar, none is so rank
    As the sin, the nigh obsolete sin, of refusing.

[Decoration: Gold mining camp]


I came down here from the ’Back, last year,
        For a spell and a high-toned drunk,
But I back and fill with a palsied will
        As I lounge on a kapok bunk.
I laze and laze where a man’s life pays
        For a kiss and a pint of squirt,
Like a weak-kneed slop in a draper’s shop—
        ’Neath the curse of a laundried shirt!

I tire to death of the town’s close breath—
        Of the pave, and the lighted street:
Its silken tiles, and its threadbare smiles—
        Of the patter of kid-shod feet;
And thoughts tramp back where I lost the track
        Of a “leader” of five-ounce dirt,
Before I knelt with a “Scheme”-cleansed pelt
        At the shrine of a laundried shirt!

I came down here for a spell, last year,
        And a brush with the town-bred folk—
For a bit of a change from my “moated grange”
        (A camp by an outback soak):
But drift I still with a flagging will
        And a spirit that grows inert—
A sagging jaw and a bleaching paw—
        ’Neath the curse of a laundried shirt!

I’ve lit my camp with the moon’s soft lamp
        And the light of the outback stars,
And drunk my fill of the Out-Back swill,
        As I breasted the shanty bars:
I’ve made my bit, and have squandered it
        In an island of dreams, rum-girt—
To fall at last with my flag half-mast,
        ’Neath the curse of a laundried shirt!

The stampers roar to the tune no more
        Of “Aboard for the Sydney-side!”
The merry hum of the windlass drum
        ’S like the song of the swan—that died:
My mulga maid, in whose eyes hope played—
        With jewels adown her skirt,
She’s sailed a trip on some desert ship
        From the chap in a laundried shirt!


No, Mister, I’ve no messages ter send along the track
    But I thank y’ fer enquiring, jest the same;
Fer it’s mighty near an age agone I wandered from Out-back,
    And I dessay they’re forgettin’ this old frame:
But you’ll find a hearty welcome at the far end o’ the pad,
    Where the rank and file is nothin’—only mates;
                And I wish yer luck ... but stay!
                If yer chance along his way,
    Jest remember me to Old Bill Bates.

We both battled on together since the year o’ ’Ninety-two,
    And we mostly hung around the outer rim,
And we drank, and fought, and made-up friends, as good as gold, and true,
    Till the camp took us for brothers—me and him:
You will find him crush to sample, if you try him by the bulk,
    And you’ll find the ’malgam ribbed along the plates;
                Fer he’s pretty high-grade rock
                From his flannel to his sock,
    Is that sun-dried salamander, Old Bill Bates!

But in case yer fail ter reckernise his features at the pub,
    (Fer he might be outer luck, or off the spree)
Yer can fossick through the workin’s till y’ find his rub-a-dub,
    And then all yer got to do, is mention me:
And yer won’t want any witness to identerfy yer phiz.
    Nor yer won’t need to projoos no days or dates,
                If he doesn’t claim yer straight
                F’r a white man and a mate,
    Then that party isn’t Old Bill Bates!

Y’ might guess him fer a chap what wears a pretty stiffish lip,
    And he user ter own a one-eyed spotted bitch,
And he’s mostly rags and air-holes—jest the picter of his kip—
    So it’s hard ter tell (fer strangers) which is which;
But he’s grit right to the bottom, and the mate what’s tried his sand,
    He ’ud swag it back from them ’ere Pearly Gates
                With a longish stride, I’ll swear,
                If they kep’ no lodger there
    By the monniker of “Old Bill Bates.”
[Illustration: New chum talking with old gold miner]
[86] No, thanks, Mister, I’ve no message—since I’ve opened out my drum,
    Where a suit o’ tailor’s clobber pulls the strings;
But (I wouldn’t say it public) I am feelin’ pretty glum
    When I start a-cogitatin’ about things:
But you’ll find a hearty welcome where the sky begins ter dip,
    Out where mates is mostly men, and men is mates,
                And I wish yer luck ... and say!
                If yer chance upon his way,
    Jest remember me to Old Bill Bates.

[Decoration: Black Swan]

[Illustration: Men observing fantastic creatures]

Dave Barker is a mate of mine,
    A solid mate and chum,
And when we’re out upon the wine
    I guess we make things hum:

We go the pace all fair and square,
    But rapid, I’ll allow;
And start from—well, just anywhere,
    And wind up—anyhow.

When Dave and me’s out on the loose
    We follers close and keen,
And samples every kind of juice
    From rum to kerosene.

It’s all good fish comes to our net,
    To Barker’s net and mine,
And our intentions are, you bet!
    Most strictly genuwine.

We beats about upon the ramp,
    And does up all our tin;
Then Dave—well, Dave strikes out for camp,
    And I—well, I jines in.

And then the panoramy starts—
    The queerest kind of fakes—
Fat little blokes and smaller tarts,
    And funny bob-tailed snakes.

And presently, a big galoot
    Drops down the chimbly flue,
And takin’ up Dave’s blucher boot,
    Sez, “Lads! Here’s luck to you!”

But all the time it’s bilin’ hot,
    And, spare me (crimson) days!
You never heerd such blanky rot
    As what them fantods says.

Well, comin’ on this last old year,
    I sez to David B.,
“Old chap, we pays a lot too dear
    These fan-tod fakes ter see.

We grafts and grinds and stints our grub,
    But if we socked our rent
We soon could buy a blanky pub,
    Or stand for Parlyment.

“What say to puttin’ in the peg?
    Swear off, old man!—what say?”
Sez Dave, “I’m on—we’ll spike the keg
    Fer good and all, till May.”

And then our two right hands we clasps
    The ’greement fer to bind;
And felt like them there “Army” chaps
    Wot’s left all sin behind.

If any tries to pull our leg
    This coming Hogmanay
We’ll shout, “No, no! we’ve driv’ the peg
    Home flush and fast till May.”

Well, Dave and me, we saunters down
    Along the bloomin’ street,
And every ’quaintance in the town
    ’Ud want to stand us treat.

They’d pull and press, and chaff and beg,
    Till ’t last we’d break away,
A-shoutin’ “No! we’ve spiked the keg—
    No booze for us, till May!”

Well, Dave, he comes from Aberdeen,
    And Sandy Mac. was tight:
Sez Mac., “Old Scotland’s hills are green!
    One drink on Scotia’s night!”

Then Dave he looks acrost at me,
    And I looks ’crost at Dave—
It allus after seemed to be
    A kind of mootual “cave.”

For Barker sidles to’rds the bar:
    “A whisky from the bin,”
Sez he, “my gay young Lochinvar!”
    And I—well, I chimes in.

That was a night—we drank and stept,
    And joined the Scotchy’s lilt,
Till all the rest were drunk or slept,
    And all the casks a-tilt.

Then, as we staggered home at four,
    It was a sight ter see
A-troopin’ from our “rubby” door
    Our fan-tod familee!

They tended on us jest like kings,
    And darnced around the bunk,
And seemed, the ’fectionate little things,
    So glad to see us drunk!

One smilin’ dwarf with flowin’ beard,
    He sang (as sure as sin)
The sweetest song you ever heerd—
    “Our dad’s kem home agin!”

And you may all take this from me,
    For gorspel truth to-day—
The best way to injy a spree
    Is, Take the pledge till May.

[Decoration: Mining with a windsail]


It is durned hard lines, when a man grows sere
    And his whiskers are flecked with grey,
And he wears the boots that he wore last year
    When he worked for a miner’s pay,
To be brushed aside, with a callous word,
    By the arms of sturdier men,
As they rush and crush, with a hope deferred,
    For the coveted three-pound-ten!

Oh! he sold his strength, and he sold his health,
    And he bartered his manhood’s prime
As he toiled and moiled, in the stores of wealth—
    Where they banter the whole crib-time;
And they sweat, and sweat, and they crack their jokes
    To the tune that the “banjos” play;
For the world wags fine with the bow-yanged blokes
    While they work for a miner’s pay!

And To-morrow’s left for To-morrow’s self
    To provide for as best it can;
For there comes no dream of a workless shelf
    To the brain of the miner man—
Not a whining call from the voice of Thrift!
    Not a cramp in the open hand!
As they play and pay—and they drift and drift
    To the ranks where the grey-heads stand.

But his kids are cold, and their feet are bare,
    And the prospect is bleak and brown,
And the missus has never a hat to wear
    That’s fit to be seen in the town;
And the spectres flock—that were held last year,
    With the rattle of coin, at bay:
When the old man smiled at his old wife’s fear
    While he worked for a miner’s pay.

There are none to heckle; there’s nought to blame
    But the curse of a gambler’s quest!
And the men pass out, as they lose the game
    That we play in the Golden West:
But their thoughts must turn as the days grow late.
    In a dream, to some “cocky” patch
Where the old folk stand at their homestead gate,
    And they laugh ’neath their whitening thatch.

[Illustration: An old gold miner]
An Old North Country Identity.

I tramped again ’neath a blazing sky,
In a Western land where the deserts lie:
But the rush and roar, and the life we knew,
When the ’Nineties echoed the whole world through,
Were silent, or uttered their speech alone
With a drab and dreary monotone.

I sought a field where a thousand men,
Stout-limbed, strong-hearted, toiled madly then;
But the hessian flapped on the rotting camps,
And the rust was eating the silent stamps;
And of all the throng of that mildewed past
There was only one who stuck to the last.
Just one old man, and his beard of grey
Kept time with his chatter the live-long day.

“What luck, old friend?”—and he turned around,
Where his hopperings fell in a cone-shaped mound;
And he rested his arm on the shaker’s side,
With the air of a man when the world was wide—
And his tongue ran off with a ceaseless flow,
For the hermits talk of their cronies so.

He spoke, with a digger’s quenchless zest,
Of the early days of the Golden West:
Of a surging wave, of a seething tide,
That rolled to the fields from the Eastern side;
Of the wondrous slugs and the mighty men
Who answer not to the call again.
“And I was right in their midst,” said he,
“For I followed Bayley in ’Ninety-three.”

Then he led the way, and he led me far
With the changing trend of each dip and bar,
And he pointed out with a palsied hand
[96] All the work he’d done, all the plans he’d planned;
“For there’s gold,” he yelled, “that would pave a street,
At the spot where the slate and granite meet.”

I chanced that track on my way once more,
And I sought my friend of a year before;
But his shaker cracked in the midday sun,
And the old man’s search for the joint was done,
For he’d stacked his tools, and had drawn his stake.
And had followed the army in Bayley’s wake.

Oh, I trust he’s gone—as the priests insist—
Where the streets are paved with the gold he missed;
And they’ll weave his crown, and they’ll string his lyre,
From the trusty strands of his shaker wire;
And they’ll let him fossick for dip and bar
In the likely places ’twixt star and star.
It will please old Dan, for a man was he
Not planned for an angel minstrelsy.

[Illustration: By a Kopi Hill]

He rests at the foot of a kopi hill
    By the old Coolgardie track;
But whether his name was Claude, or Bill,
    Or Clarence, or “Hell-fire Jack,”
There isn’t a legend at all to say—
And what does it signify, anyway?

There’s nought of funereal pomp or show—
    Just a rough-hewn slab that states,
The leisurely chap that lies below
    Had honestly paid his rates
Somewhere in the summer of ’Ninety-four;
And then he came hither—to pay no more.

So he wearied soon of the storm and strife,
    And he cast his swag aside,
When men were strong with the lust of life
    And the world seemed opened wide.
Were the castles fair, that he built that day,
Ere the Fever came in its cloak of grey?

Does he rest well there, by his kopi hill,
    Now the tale of his life is told?
Does a fear disturb his dreaming still,
    Or a sigh strike through the mould?
Does a mother weep, or a sweetheart wait,
Where they said “Good-bye,” at the old farm gate?

However it be, by the wind-swept hills
    Of leisure he nothing lacks;
And he laughs, perchance, at the dust that fills
    For ever his earthly tracks.
—Peace, Peace, old chap! It is half a prayer
In the name of a friend—Someone—Somewhere.


I planted Dave at Bummer’s Creek
        Somewhere in ’Ninety-five,
When all the country round about
        Was like a busy hive—
And good blokes pegged like rotten sheep,
        And wasters stopped alive.

And here, to-day, I’m t’ilin’ still
        Beside the same old soak
Where we pitched camp twelve years agone,
        Played out and stony broke;
And after work I think right back,
        And smoke, and smoke, and smoke.

We two were fitted, j’int fer j’int,
        And toiled and starved and spreed;
But one ’ud watch around the stump
        When t’other one was treed;
The same when Luck was in full bloom,
        As when she run to seed.

But now I’m getting old and hipped,
        And kick against the ruts,
I often think I’ll have a pray,
        But can’t sit down fer nuts—
And Dave ’ud say, “A prayin’ pea,
        He’s never got no guts!”

D’ye think it’s true, this ’ere report
        That parson blokes kin tell
As who is bound fer parrydise,
        And who is booked fer ’ell?
Fer I’ve got dust enough to pay
        If they’ve the noos to sell.

Y’ see, us partners never ’ad
        Religion much in mind,
And didn’t think to make no plan
        Fer ’im who stopped behind—
But ’course you tumble to my graft:
        I’ve got an axe to grind.

D’ye think now if I went to town,
        Got up all smart and sleek,
A short-necked shammy, just like that,
        ’Ud make them pilots speak
And say which track the battlers took
        Who pegged on Bummer’s Creek!
[Illustration: Old man smoking a pipe]
Fer Dave an’ me, we never knoo
        The rights of any sect,
Or ’ow these different pads cris-crossed,
        And things in that respect;
Or, if we’d heer’d it years afore,
        We didn’t ricollect.

I don’t say as I’d lift my ’at,
        And cringe, and beg, and crave,
Nor don’t want them to speechify
        About no soul ter save;
But there’s the dust! if they’ll pint out
        Which track was took by Dave.

[Decoration: Horse-powered mining]


Do you have any luck at the diggins?” I said
    To a dryblower grizzled and grey—
“Does the nebulous fossicker’s star ever shed
    On your shaker, one flickering ray?
    Does Dame Fortune e’er toddle your way?”

But he deigned not a look nor an answer—not then—
    And I felt most decidedly hurt,
And I marked, as he leaned o’er the hopper again,
    To examine the rubble and dirt,
    He had sugar-bag sleeves to his shirt.

Oh, his boot soles were tied to the uppers with string,
    And his beard swept his chest like a mat,
And I noted his eyes were as clear as the Spring—
    (That is, Springtime at Pennyweight Flat)—
    He had corks, also, strung to his hat.

But I flushed to the hair, as he tossed in his hand
    A large slug, from the gravel he mined,
And a midwinter smile I did not understand
    Lit his weatherworn dial and lined,
    As he carelessly toyed with his find.

Then I hurried across to congratulate Dad,
    (Oh the slug! and its wondrous gold-red!)
And I spoke of the marvellous fortune he had,
    When he wakened that sprite from its bed—
    “Pshaw! A fly-speck—a fly-speck!”—he said.

And he sighed as he spoke, and his eyes gathered damp
    (Ah, the depth of the pathos they wore!)
“I have plenty like that sowed away in the camp,
    And because you’re true grit to the core
    You may have the durned thing for a ‘score’!”

Quick I dived for my purse, and I counted the coin,
    Ere I greedily gathered my prize—
Then our hands were as hands of old friends, when they join
    And our eyes met as brotherly eyes—
    Oh, we wept, as we mingled good-byes!

“What’s it worth? What’s it worth?” to the banker I cried,
    As I came through the door at a run,
And I brushed seven customers waiting aside,
    And the banker chap calmly begun,
    “I should say about nine pounds a ton.”
[Illustration: Well-dressed man watching old gold miner inspecting a lump of metal]
I will swear that my hair turned a peony red,
    And my visage an emerald green,
As he scraped off the gilt from a pound weight of lead;
    And a sadness fell over the scene
    That but late wore a holiday sheen.

Then I rushed like a mad thing, on homicide bent;
    And with anger that cut to the bone
I demolished the shaker, and ravaged the tent,
    —But the hardened old sinner had flown;
    And I sank to the earth with a groan.

Oh, his boot soles were tied to the uppers with string,
    And his beard swept his chest like a mat—
I remarked that his eyes were as clear as the Spring,
    (That is, Springtime at Pennyweight Flat)
    He had corks, also, strung to his hat.

[Decoration: Gold miner with dolly pot]

[Illustration: Despondent miner sitting on swag]

I want to be out where the battlers are,
        Away from the tyrant pen,
Where the bell-bird sits on the morning star
        To waken the mulga men;
I want to stand on the crazy brace,
        Or hammer away below,
While Luck waits by with a shining face
So long as the “leader” pans a trace—
        But I haven’t the guts to go!

I want to be fixed in the same old camp,
        And sit by the sandal fire—
I can see it now in the flickering lamp:
        It looks like a funeral pyre.
I want to be with the gods of graft,
        The stars of an out-back sky,
Or follow on with a bushman’s craft,
With my bag and bundle before and aft—
        But I haven’t the guts to try!

Oh, I know a place where the gold went down,
        The spot where the “country” broke:
And the shaft is there near the ridge’s crown,
        By the foot of an old bull-oak.
I know the metal is waiting still
        For a lusty heart to buy,
For a trusty arm, and a tireless will,
Till the slug rolls out from the public mill—
        But I haven’t the guts to try!

There’s a shanty, too, and a lodestone there—
        A girl of the out-back type—
The midnight sleeps in her vagrant hair
        And her lips are cherry-ripe:
The battlers vie at the kipsy bar,
        And many a mulga beau;
And I want to be where the battlers are,
And bask in the light of my out-back star—
        But I haven’t the guts to go!

There’s a fell disease in the touch of ink—
        The shriek of a coastal train—
There’s a subtle curse in the draught we drink
        That softens the bushman’s brain:
We weary fast of the gauds and guile,
        Though strong are the bonds they weave,
And the glamour that circles the Golden Mile—
        But we haven’t the guts to leave!

I want to up with my swag and hence,
        Away from the tyrant pen,
Where the bell-bird calls from the morning’s fence
        To waken the mulga men!
I want to stand on a crazy brace,
        Or hammer away below,
While Luck looks on with a beaming face,
So long as the “leader” pans a trace—
        But I haven’t the guts to go!


There’s another and brighter song to sing
        That is caught on the writer’s quill,
Though ’tis told all day with a rhythmic swing
        By the stamps of the ten-head mill:
They repeat no burden of cankered greed,
        And they echo no anguished moan,
                        When they rattle the roofs
                        With their iron hoofs,
        As they pound on your two-ounce stone!

There’s never a beat for the filching crew,
        Not a chip from the workman’s crust;
There’s never a turn for the London Jew,
        Nor a “weight” for the London “trust”;
There’s never a sigh for the wretched gnomes
        Below in the seething stope,
                        And the walls resound,
                        As the cams go round,
        With the clamour of new-born Hope!

There’s a battler seeing the parcel through;
        And he stands in the lamplight dim,
And he bends his ear to the voice anew
        For the message that comes to him:
And his bronzed cheek glows as the words grow clear.
        For they quicken his pulse and thrill,
                        And memories stir
                        To the whizz and whir
        Of the wheels of the ten-head mill.

There’s a king to-night in his dungarees,
        And he’s quaffing an old, old wine—
Oh, he doffs no cap and he bends no knees
        To the boss of the Bull-owned mine!
And he gives no thought to the fruitless quest
        Where his years and his toil were cast,
                        While the stampers sing
                        The awakening
        Of his Luck—that has come at last!

So the sky grows clear and the world grows wide,
        And there’s melody in the air:
There’s a waiting ship for the Eastern side,
        And a woman that’s waiting there:
There’s a proud disdain for the things that were,
        And this planet is all his own—
                        And there’s good red blood
                        In the stamper’s thud
        As it pounds on his two-ounce stone!
[Illustration: Pointing East]


I wish you a happy New Year,
    O, faithful old mother of me!
May it come with a smile, not a tear,
    Where Sydney looks out on the sea—
    On the wings of some wind, blowing free,
Where the heads of Port Jackson rise sheer—
            From the heart in my breast
            And the heart of the West
I wish you a happy New Year!

While the hands of Luck’s jenny-wheel spin
    And Fortune is ever a-fret,
From the voices of homeland and kin,
    Come the clearest of messages yet:
    And the nose of my dinghy is set
For the time the gods give me a win!
            And I waft you a line,
            Dear old mother of mine!
While the hands of Luck’s jenny-wheel spin.

But, though Fortune be good or be ill!
    Though the guerdon be ashes or gold!
When the crushing has gone to the mill
    And the tale of life’s effort is told,
    Though the world be grown never so cold
There’s a heart that will beat for me still!
            And a prayer to fend,
            And a trust without end,
And an old hand to cancel the bill.

So I wish you a happy New Year,
    O, well-loved old mother of me!
May it come with no trace of a tear
    When it trips from Eternity’s sea!
    Oh, for mine! and for thine! and for thee!
With a love that is deep and sincere,
            From the heart in my breast,
            In the heart of the West,
I wish you “A Happy New Year!”


When Western roads are rough and long,
        and days are hot and dry:
When mulga branches cast no shade
        against the brazen sky:
I throw “Matilda” by the pad
        and let my fancy play—
A-skipping o’er the fields once more,
        amongst the ricks of hay.

Oh, here they come! there’s Joe and Dan!
        and May, and Kate, and Min.!
The old swing gate flies open wide
        to let the rompers in:
For I am friends with all the lot,
        and trusty chums are they,
And all a-troop for hide-a-hoop
        amongst the ricks of hay.

We mashers dress in father’s pants—
        our sweethearts’ trilbies bare—
For we are jolly farmer’s kids
        with hayseeds in our hair!
And Joe Tresize takes after Kate,
        and I takes after May,
And Dan and Min. like whirlies spin
        amongst the ricks of hay.

And when the rush and romp are o’er
        we go in twos and twos—
And oh! the undermining arts
        we simple urchins use;
And oh, the saucy tricks and ways
        of Kate, and Min., and May!
While life’s begun and hearts are won
        amongst the ricks of hay.

Then safe behind the sheltering wing
        these friendly ricks afford,
We swear we’re “deep as deep” in love!
        we are “as true as Gord”!
And linked together Jack and Jill,
        beneath the moonlight grey,
With hearts ablaze, we spoon our ways
        amongst the ricks of hay.

Alas! just then a startling voice
        through dream and mistland broke:
“A dozen weary mulga miles
        to Jerry Hogan’s soak!”
A fig for that! The miles fly past
        to spryer steps and gay—
I’ve spent a boyish hour or two
        amongst the ricks of hay.


I live where the shade is,
And rusted Life’s blade is—
The sand-drifts from Hades
        Have tarnished each charm:
But, sober or shicker,
My heart-pulse beats quicker
Whenever I think of
        Kildea’s flower farm!

’Twas not the green sward, or
The spangled disorder
Along the path border
        That led to their gate;
Nor mazes and mazes
Of heartsease and daisies,
That blossomed so early
        And lingered so late:

It was not the ringing
Of crimson bells swinging—
It was not the singing
        Of elves in the corn—
Nor fairy beds, laden
With rose-wreaths from Aidenn,
That smiled like a child, in
        The face of the morn!

Ah, the roses so bloomy
That held me and drew me—
The thrill that shot through me,
        ’Neath blue skies or grey—
The fear that oppressed me,
The hope that caressed me,
All dwelt ’neath the bonnet
        Of Katy Kildea!

With callous years flying,
And Youth’s fountains drying,
One memory undying
        Lives always attuned:
And, if plucked from its setting,
Forgot and forgetting,
The best of my being
        Would flow through the wound!

I live where the shade is—
And rusted Life’s blade is—
The sand-drifts from Hades
        Have tarnished its charm:
But, sober or shicker,
My heart-pulse beats quicker
Whenever I think of
        Kildea’s flower farm.


Dear Kitty, I’ve just read the letter you sent—
    It was brought by the man from the store;
And I’m writin’ straight back, as I lay in my tent,
    Sprawlin’ out at full length on the floor.
But the pen ’ll scarce write for the thinkin’ of you—
    Oh, I’m sorry that ever I went!
And I have to knock off every minute or two,
    Just to glance through the letter you sent.

It is scarcely six months since I left Cooranbean,
    But seems longer than all of last year;
And the moon ain’t so bright, and the grass ain’t so green,
    And the sky, somehow, isn’t so clear:
Oh, I’d give all their towns, to the very last brick,
    And their mines, with the forchins they yield,
Just to hear the old ripple of Cooranbean crick,
    And the rustle of corn in the field.

There isn’t no “skirts” like the Cooranbean “skirts”!
    Or no boys like the Cooranbean boys!
And there isn’t no parties for fellers and flirts,
    And there isn’t no dance at Mulroy’s!
[122] And there isn’t no chance for a couple to spin
    Like the wind acrost Cherrytree Plain!
Where the best of the prizes were kisses to win—
    And ... there isn’t no Kitty M‘Lean.

I can’t find no nuggets, and can’t see no charm,
    As I wander about in the street;
And I long to be back once again on the farm,
    With the rabbits and rust in the wheat.
Oh, then life would want neither a whip or a spur—
    With a “string,” and a trigger to pull,
And just you at my side, and the possums astir,
    And the moon, our old moon! at the full ...

But if I am dull, and my letters are crook,
    It is certain that you should know why:
For you’ll find Charley’s heart, if you’re carin’ to look,
    At the gate where he kissed you “Good-bye!”
And say, if in a month, on the home-comin’ track,
    There is anyone’s eyes charnster skim,
And they see a young chap with a “port” on his back—
    That most likely, Dear Kit., ’ll be him.
[Illustration: Gold miner in his tent]


Dear Charley, I dreamt of a letter last night
    With the postmark of W.A.,
And it’s wonderful, reely, how soon it came right,
    And I ought to feel happy to-day—
For your letter came home from that far-away shore,
    But no matter however I try,
The difference, somehow, it always seems more
    And I cannot do nothing but cry.

They’re all gone to Hogan’s to see their noo plough,
    But I’m stayin’ behind from the rest,
For there doesn’t seem anything happenin’ now
    Like before you cleared out to the West.
The voice from the crick’s like a human in pain
    And a sigh seems ter come from the trees,
And there’s somethin’ I don’t understand on the plain
    With the grass wavin’ up to your knees.

You mind the moss rose that grew over our gate,
    Our old gate where we whispered, “Good-bye”?
Oh, how often I go there and wonder if Fate
    Has one blessing a girl’s wish could buy—
[125] I am wearin’ a bunch in your favourite dress
    With the flounces and streamers of blue,
And though pr’aps it is silly, I have to confess
    I am wearin’ my heart out for you.

All the country around is as green as a leaf
    And there’s never no fires or no drought,
And they say it’s old weatherwise Riley’s belief
    That the seasons is goin’ to hang out;
And they say that young fellers is fools to go West
    When there’s whips of good land on the run—
And the stick-at-home policy’s always the best
    When the summin’-up comes to be done.

Oh, Charley! come back to your sweetheart again!
    She’s as dull as a girl in a trance:
And she hasn’t been out for a flutter since then
    And she don’t care a dump for a dance;
And she’s watchin’ for someone who kissed her, and cried
    “But a few little months for to wait!
When the time’ll pass by, and I’ll stand by your side
    Where the roses twine over the gate.”

[Illustration: Man with luggage and moneybag hastily leaving camp]

Hurrah! at last
Ill luck is past;
        My shammy weighs a ton!
A drink or two,
A shake for you,
        A smile for everyone!
My number’s up—
A stirrup cup!
        No Death’s head at the feast!
As off I go
With veins aglow,
        A-whizzing towards the East!

Yet, wait a shake!
Put on the brake,
        And shut the damper down!
A kiss for you
With eyes of blue!
        And you with eyes of brown!
’Tis oft declared
A joy that’s shared
        Is seven-fold increased—
Then jump aboard
And trust the Lord,
        A-whizzing towards the East!

The breezes tell—
The stars as well—
        The tales I love to hear:
Their voices seem
As in a dream,
        Those missed for many a year.
Then here with you!
My cronies true!
        The nearest and the least!
I’ll clink a glass,
Then skim the grass,
        A-whizzing towards the East!

With love and loot,
And youth to boot,
        I’ll plough the ocean blue—
They’re waiting me
Upon the quay,
        And gaze the mistland through:
Then shout afar,
“Hurrah! Hurrah!”
        Like prisoners released—
With sails outspread
And “Steam ahead,”
        We’re whizzing towards the East!

[Decoration: Man with swag walking away]


There’s an all-pervading glamour and a glitter in the West;
    There’s a market here for muscle or for brain:
And Success stands ever near us, with a blossom at her breast,
    And a galaxy of beauty in her train!
There are prizes worth the winning, for the daring hearts and bold,
    There are gauds and gear for those who work and wait,
But I’m often drifting, drifting, from the palling gleam of gold
    Till I stand beside the old farm gate.

How the roses bloomed that Summer! with their petals white and red:
    How the honeysuckle clustered near the porch!
The soft warm glow of sympathy around the place was shed,
    For the god of sweet Contentment held the torch!
There were mountains in the distance, and a river at their base,
    And when Summer evening fancies re-create
Then I go a-drifting, drifting, with a smile upon my face
    Till I stand beside the old farm gate!

Ere the mocking days that hover ’twixt the dreams of then and now:
    Ere the fevered years, that withered with their touch:
There was Hope! that never ceased to wear a flush upon her brow,
    And that Hope still struggles onward—with a crutch!
But the harvest days are over, and asleep their merry men,
    And I glean the ears of fantasy or Fate,
As I go a-drifting, drifting, till I find Eileen again
    As I left her by the old farm gate.

[Decoration: Man leading camel]


Oh, fill the sparkling crystal up
    A beaker to the brim!
We sing no lays of fulsome praise
    Of white-lipped seraphim:
No universal hymn of peace—
    No puling, puking toast—
But clink a glass to those we love!
    And those who love us most.

A love for love! a hate for hate!
    Good old Mohammed’s creed—
That sears and brands the hearts and hands
    Of every human breed:
We join in greetings to our foes—
    No false-tongued canting host;
But drink a health to those we love!
    And those who love us most!

To him whose hand would bear us down—
    Whose fluent lie would mar—
We bear no hate inveterate,
    No gall-tipped scimitar;
[132] And little care, though glory crown,
    Or hottest hell may roast—
But drain a glass to those we love
    And those who love us most!

A white-haired woman o’er the sea—
    A group within her gate,
Who bend to read the halting screed,
    But half articulate—
Yet bearing on its blotted page,
    From Austral coast to coast,
A word of love to those we love
    And those who love us most.

To-night! oh, let no follies sway!
    No gas-lit, luring eyes
Glint through the clear God’s atmosphere
    That links eternities!
Wave back each wizened witch of care!
    Wave back each peering ghost!
And breathe a heathen prayer for them—
    The hearts that love us most!
[Illustration: Nor’west Corner]


Beer is enough. Let us be satisfied,
    Nor fret our hearts with longing after gin,
And bob saloons, and vanities beside,
    That lead one to the shelving edge of sin ...
For wights who sit a-row along the pave,
With crackling skins, and drooping lives to save,
                                Beer is enough.

Beer is enough. Let Love roost on his perch,
    And coo and coo his breath away at will ...
The bride in orange blooms—the ivied church—
    The two-roomed kipsy sheltered by the hill ...
Sweep them aside, and fetch the frothing bowl
To warm the cockles of one’s inmost-soul.
                                Beer is enough.

Beer is enough. Though dreamers sigh and sigh
    Of melting love, did love e’er quench a thirst?
Did ever Cupid, ’neath a brazen sky,
    Hand out a pint to taper off a burst?
Can Daphne’s lips allay the wild desire
To wade in hops, when coppers are afire?
                                Beer is enough.

Beer is enough. The brightest and the best
    Of all the gifts the gods have handed down!
A Nautch girl she! who graces all the West,
    Dressed in her picture hat, and amber gown ...
There is no canker in her love—no lees
To weight one’s ghost through dim eternities.
                                Beer is enough.

[Decoration: Mining equipment]


The loungers eyed the Wreck askance,
    —A seedy bloke was he,
Who bore upon his countenance
    A boozer’s historee—
He wore a small pea-dodger hat
    Upon his massive brow,
                And everywhere
                His sandy hair
    Spread round the rim like tow.

“Oh! Charles Adolphus,” Hebe chipped
    (The belle of Bung’s saloon)
“Old chap! you’re got me fairly hipped—
    I’m dying for a spoon!”
“Stand off! Stand off!” the boozer yelled,
    And dashed his pewter down:
                Her eyes of grey,
                Though dimmed to-day,
    Glow warm from Sydney town!”

“Cheer up!” the barmaid cried, “Cheer up!
    You’ll be a long time dead.”
“Ah! we have drained the bitter cup,
    My girl and I,” he said;
“For she is ’neath the morning sun,
    And I am where it sets—
                On Sydney quay
                She waits for me,
    My bunch of vio-lets!”

“Girl! we were raised together, where
    The Namoi winds along—
Corn tassels were not like her hair!
    Or magpies like her song!”
—And so he waxed poetic, while
    The barmaid bent her ear
                (As women do
                To listen to
    The eloquence of beer.)

“Oh! shut your head, and do a get!”
    The irate loungers cried:
“Last month I saw your Violet
    Upon the Sydney side.
She wore a pretty rakish hat;
    A Chow on either fin;
                And loaded thus,
                She wanted us
    To fill her up with gin.”
[Illustration: Men in bar, one talking with barmaid]
He heard the insult where he stood:
    A gleam lit up his eye:
“A lie!” he howled; “that calls for blood!
    A damned and heartless lie!
But for my mother’s son, and her
    Who lives across the sea,
                If God is white
                Himself, to-night
    He’ll lend a hand with me!”

As willy-willies rush and tear
    Their way through mulga scrubs—
As old-time pirates used to dare,
    Aboard their wooden tubs—
As men still fight for those they love,
    While weaklings dodge and spar—
                With flying blows
                And steel-shod toes
    He cleared that private bar!

*                *                *

But one stood there with drooping head,
    And sandy hair like tow—
“I reckon, Miss,” the Object said,
    “I’ll try a pewter now.”
And when he sank upon the floor
    Where Bacchus spreads his nets,
                A flower spray
                Fell where he lay—
    ’Twas Hebe’s vio-lets.


No theme for poet’s ecstasies,
        No Phyllis fond and fair,
With sprouting wings and soulful eyes,
        And sunglints in her hair;
No wood-nymph, clad in gossamer,
        A-treading daisied meads,
No saintly nun, from sun to sun
        A-telling of her beads:

She’s not the girl who wept upon
        Our shirt-front on the quay!
She is no Frenchified Mignonne!
        No Scotch lass frae the Dee!
No leaf culled from Romance’s page,
        No scintillating star,
Is charming Luce—who jerks the juice
        Behind M‘Whalan’s bar.

And yet the lads for miles and miles
        From mulga camp and mine
Come in to bid for Lucy’s smiles
        And worship at her shrine:
They dream of nectar from her lips,
        But drain the whisky jar,
And leave their hearts’ own counterparts
        Upon M‘Whalan’s bar.

She is no dreamy, droopy frond,
        No white rose of regret;
But, oh! we leap in Lethe’s pond
        From Virtue’s minaret
When deftly, with a flashing toe!
        She tips our panama,
And in a whirl of clothes and girl
        Vaults back across the bar.

She holds us with a silken thread,
        This hypnotising flirt:
A wink that whispers, “Hope ahead!”
        The frou-frou of her skirt;
But, Lord, it fairly breaks us up,
        Our eyes grow large as moons,
When with despatch she strikes a match
        Upon her pantaloons.

Then all the world may bow to-night
        To Beauty’s peerless queen,
And all the world may fight its fight
        For “God and Gwendoline”;
But we will lilt our serenade
        To bright eyes flashing far,
And drink to Luce who jerks the juice
        Behind M‘Whalan’s bar!


There’s a new chap born in the world to-day,
    And an axe laid close to the root of doubt,
When I hear you speak in that soulful way
    Of a love to last till the stars go out——
                    But, Mignonette!
                    Will you love me yet
When the duns come in? ... ’Tis an even bet.

Ah! I try to think, as I feel your breath,
    Like a perfume thrown from a Glory rose,
That our path will lead (as the poet saith)
    In a pleasant field, where the wild thyme blows——
                    But, wife of mine!
                    Will your star still shine
When he’s loaded down to the Plimsoll line?

Oh, I like you thus, with your nut-brown hair
    In a wilderness, as I saw you first;
And I love you much as a man may dare
    Who is torn asunder ’twixt love and thirst——
                    Pray tell me, dear!
                    Will the wind-vane veer
When I hang my pants on the chandelier?

And will Passion’s flower still bloom as red,—
    Will you shrink right over against the wall,—
When I tumble into the nuptial bed
    With my harness on, and my boots and all?
                    Will you have resource
                    To a plain divorce
When I smell of hops like a brewer’s horse?

Will your faith still shine when the world grows grey?
    When the Autumn comes, will your heart grow sere?
Will you wear the smile that you wear to-day
    When you wear the hat that you wore last year?
                    Girl, keep your vow!
                    Things will shape somehow—
And we’ll take our toll from the lap of Now!

[Decoration: Gold mining camp]


Different men have different ways,
Different crooks have different lays,
Different girls wear different stays.

It’s just according to how you’re built
Whether you sing a dirge, or lilt,
Laugh, or cry, when the milk is spilt.

Different dogs have different yaps,
Different tarts have different chaps,
Different bees fill different caps.

The bloke who missed is a carper—hence
We find him sitting astride a fence,
Cursing like hell as a recompense.

Different hounds have different bays,
Different nags have different neighs,
Different priests have different prays.

Who’d have a world that was uniform
Timing its pulse to a damning norm?
Give me the varying calm and storm.

Different hooks have different eyes,
Different cooks make different pies,
Different stamps have different dies.

Little it matters, my friend! to you,
Though arms are clinging, or hearts are true,
Or gold be clotted around the shoe.

Different grocers use different sand—
That is the game that you understand!
Here is a genuine, good right hand.

[Illustration: hand, index finger pointing down]

Bring me a tangle of fairish dope
To widen a rhymer’s mental scope,
And I’ll write an ode to a bar of soap!

[Decoration: Black Swan]

[Illustration: The Drunk’s Rubáiyát]

Awake! the Dawn is breaking rosy red;
The Flies their matin Hymns sing round your Head—
    And here you’ve roosted on the Kerb all night,
And never paid a Stiver for your Bed.

Last Eve, no doubt, when primed with Beer and Wine,
The World at large was all your Ruby Mine;
    But if you had to face the Beak to-day,
It’s odds you couldn’t pay a Dollar Fine.

Ah, then Life wore an amber-tinted Hue,
To dizzy Heights your hop-fed Fancy flew;
    But now, alas! to damp a Soul of Clay
You’ll have, perforce, to try a weaker Brew.

Search well again! Perhaps some vagrant Sprat
Lies hid within the Lining of your Hat;
    Or if a Thrummer, you’ve an even chance—
A hungry Bung will often come at that.

And, ah! see yonder open tap-room Door—
If Fate be kind, old chap! maybe you’ll score;
    And if a foaming Pot materialise,
Soak up the Juice, and boldly ask for more.

Myself, when young, did eagerly frequent
Shanty and Pub, on gratis Beer intent;
    But I (unlucky wayfarer) was oft
Shot out by the same Door that in I went.

And that perverted soul we call the Bung,
Whose Moods, in turn, are praised or cursed or sung—
    I’ve often wondered in my Heart, why he
Remains uncanonised—or else unhung.

From some, indeed, the Milk of Kindness flows:
Another Churl the pointed Insult throws—
    But when He cops a Oner on the Beak,
He knows about it all—He Knows—HE KNOWS!

But come! Let’s tap this caravanserai!
I hold a Bob, in case the Kite won’t fly;
    But ask not how it haps—like Life and Death
I know not How, nor When, nor Whence, nor Why.


I met him nearly farthest out—
        No matter when or where.
He carried in his ragged clothes
        A kind of city air.
I said, “I’ve just been wondering
        The devil who you are?”
And he replied, in broken tones,
“I’m all that’s left of Billy Jones,
        The beau of Mullingar!”

“Brush up! brash up! my friend,” I cried,
        “And bear it like a man.
Why, look at me, I’ve battled through
        From Beersheba to Dan;
And yet may do the ‘buffer’ trick
        When Fortune’s bogies jar,
And shade the truth
From callow youth
        Who hail from Mullingar!

“Come, trot inside this shanty door!
        This out-back mulga hell!
Where all our finer thoughts are damned,
        And e’en our worst rebel.
But still when deathly monotone
        Spreads over land and star,
Here, broken men
Oft dream again
        Of some old Mullingar!”

He sighed, and took my hand in his—
        The kind of flaccid clasp
That rankles through one’s very soul
        And tears it like a rasp—
“Ah, yes, that talk is right enough
        Beside a shanty bar;
But I’ve,” he said,
And bowed his head,
        “A girl in Mullingar!”

“Remember this,” I laughed, “my lad!
        The brave alone may win—
To her we’ll chink, where’er she be,
        One foaming pannikin,
For Cupid’s cunning shafts, my lad,
        They carry fast and far;
And girls are true
To me and you,
        In hell—or Mullingar!
[Illustration: Two men standing at a bar]
“Come, sink another pot to her!
        A wizened soul and white
Would falter in its tracks by day,
        And in its core by night.
For I, too, twenty years ago,
        Beneath a luckless star,
Left, in a rage,
Life’s heritage
        Behind at Mullingar!”

“Oh, yes,” he chortled with a sneer,
        “I know, I know your kind
Of out-back bloke who babbles of
        The girl he left behind—
Her face was quite a beauty show,
        Her voice like a guitar.
I guess,” he grinned,
“The kind of wind
        Blew you from Mullingar!

“For city men, like me, may read
        The lying lines between,
Of blokes who bruise with hob-nailed feet
        Love’s field of evergreen—
The car wherein your goddess drives
        May be Aspasia’s car!”
I hit him solid, fair and square,
And left the wastrel lying there—
        That bloke from Mullingar.


I shan’t,” cried the maiden, “I shan’t!”
    With a dear little petulant cry;
But the Moon, the old Moon, looked aslant,
    With a comical twist in her eye;
And the mulga bush, lingering near,
    Caught up the defiant refrain,
            And “I shan’t! Oh, I shan’t!”
            In a musical chant,
Was re-echoed again and again.

“But Lucretia, my dearest, you will!”
    Our Superbus persisted—and soon
His soft accents came back from the hill,
    In the mellowing light of the moon;
And the salmon-gums, clustering round,
    Sent the melody dancing along,
            And “You will! Oh, you will!”
            Was repeated, until
They were all out of breath with their song.

But the maiden was adamant still,
    Though her lips were an edible red;
And when Tarquin insisted, “You will!”
    “Oh, I shan’t! you deceiver!” she said.
And the mulga and salmon-gums all,
    In this star-gazing argument caught,
            Sang, “You will!” “Oh, I shan’t!”
            In a soul-wrecking chant—
But they thought in their hearts that she ought.

[Decoration: Mining with a windsail]


When days are long and nights are dull,
    And life seems deathly still,
And wretched insects buzz and buzz
    Against the window sill,
One balances the force of “Won’t”
    Against the force of Will.

I live upon the outer edge,
    And on the desert’s rim,
And sometimes query, in a tone
    Quite humourless and grim,
Is life, indeed, a mere burlesque?
    Some Potent Joker’s whim?

I give the Desert stare for stare,
    We never fraternise;
For me the siren has no voice,
    For her I have no eyes,
And whipcord couldn’t link us twain
    In peaceful marriage ties.

She’s clothed in desolation’s garb,
    And visaged like the Sphinx;
Too close communion oft begets
    Those tortured mental kinks
[156] That populate the upper end
    Of men who mix their drinks.

She brings no help to sling a rhyme
    That sniggers as it goes ...
Sometimes a thought comes limping in
    With sand between its toes,
A well-developed polypus
    Somewhere within its nose.

But when its wares are spread upon
    The operating sheet
I mostly find them shadow hash,
    With very little meat,
And so I shoot them out the door
    To give the dog a treat.

There’s something in the very air
    Of torture, finely spun;
The weight of care that bears me down
    Weighs mighty near a ton;
The breakfast steak tastes like a brick,
    The spuds are underdone.

The whole world’s badly out of joint,
    And shaky at the knees;
And that old trouble with my back
    It hints of Bright’s disease,
And barley-water in a ward,
    And thumping doctors’ fees.

The touch of ’flu I caught last month
    Grows daily worse and worse:
’Tis sure my plan to keep afloat
    Till time and tide reverse,
Is, Take a load of beer aboard,
    And jettison my purse!

For one must never count the cost
    When health is in the scales
And dull-eyed devils roost upon
    One’s mental boundary rails,
Nor bend an over-fearful ear
    To timid travellers’ tales.

The same old wild and woolly whirl
    Along the same old track,
Outpacing sundry ills I have,
    To garner those I lack!
—And so, I slither down to hell
    (But have to hoof it back).

Then Reason riots wild awhile,
    With bells upon her cap,
Until the last resource is sped
    Of coin, or kid, or strap;
And then—I come back smiling, a
    Rejuvenated chap!


My worthy friend, if you’d list to me,
    I’d teach you the way of a millionaire:
Advice costs nothing; the class is free;
    And the road is smooth and the game is fair
                Where dame Fortune smiles
                With a woman’s wiles,
    And a golden comb in the jade’s back hair.

Pray listen to me as you love your life;
    The old world trips to the Oof-bird’s song:
’Tis poverty cuts like a butcher’s knife,
    And the stabs of the butcher rankle long—
                Say are you, at most,
                Like a chap on toast,
    Held over the fire on the toaster’s prong?

The prizes are not for the swift alone:
    There’s small demand on your brawn or brain:
Just a cast-steel chiv, and a hunk of stone,
    And a thirst that can cut and come again—
                A trifle of salt,
                A barrel of malt,
    And four good stout pegs in a mulga plain.

My worldly friend! if you’d list to me,
    You’d cease to worry of duns and bills,
And practice the one philanthropy
    That works the ranch that your ego fills—
                For the mugs await
                At your outer gate,
    And the world is crying for gilded pills.

’Tis thus the prizes are lost or won,
    And thus the guerdon is bought or sold;
For the game is fair when the coins are spun,
    And the “heads” show up in the aureate mould—
                And where is the sin,
                When the flats chip in,
    In flying a “nob” for their good red gold?

Well, that is the lore that I wish to teach,
    And such is the way that I want to show,
For Daphne lies on the sanded beach
    ’Way down by the ocean at Cottesloe,
                With a barrel of “fat”
                And a tall silk hat,
    And a tip-top time where the houris grow.

[Illustration: Man outside bar]

I’ve nursed it all a sultry summer night
This buffer ’twixt a rocky shore and me:
I elbow through the crowd upon my right
                    Of solvency.

Life still holds some potentialities!
I feel myself a unit amongst men!
But know, should thirst prevail, there wilts and dies
                    A citizen.

The clink of glasses floats upon the air—
Thirst’s fingers gripe me round the neck and choke—
One beerward step: and then a voice, “Beware!
                    Dead broke! Dead broke!

Shallows to windward, breakers on the lee,
I weigh and weigh the question, cons and pros,
Till (wracked by indecision’s pangs) I see
                    The last pub close.

[Decoration: Horse-powered mining]


Ye comrades in shicker and cobbers in sin,
        Ye wrecks from the ranks of life’s crew,
Who’ve tickled each barmaid under the chin
        And frivolled with nymphs in the Rue;
Who’ve painted the town a magnificent red
        (All impressionist artists, I trow),
Look here, in the light of the aftermath shed,
        Say, what do you think of it now?

Oh, you’ve had a gay and a festive debauch
        In regions where sanity reels,
With Bacchus, wine-laden, ahead with his torch,
        And Nemesis close at your heels.
And little you recked, as the glamour of wine
        Smoothed the lines of Life’s puckering brow—
But own up and tell me, old cobbers of mine,
        Say, what do you think of it now?

You’ve made the pace willing in numberless bars,
        You have sung, and recited, and yapped;
You have slept a drunk’s sleep ’neath the pitying stars,
        You have squandered and borrowed and strapped—
[163] You have struck every note, the sublime to the lewd,
        But, alas, from Despondency’s slough,
May I ask in a friendly and brotherly mood,
        Say, what do you think of it now?

You have played the pied piper and danced the fool’s dance
        ’Mid the smiles of well-ballasted men
(By-and-by, when the devil is better perchance
        You will cut the same caper again.)
But now, as you bare your scant locks to the blast,
        And re-register vow upon vow,
May I ask, as a brother—the month that is past—
        Say, what do you think of it now?

[Decoration: Gold miner with dolly pot]

[Illustration: Odd Leaves]

[Illustration: Man seated at desk]

I have no wild desire to sing, and sing,
    Or kneel at Nature’s feet, and be her mummer.
Poetic fancies are not rioting
    For liberty, like prisoned birds in summer.
No thoughts, like maidenhair, climb round and cling
    To rhyming roosters writing on a thrummer;
But frowsy devils, round the camp to-night,
Suggest alone the commonplace and trite.

There is no bubbling spring within my clay;
    I hold no lyrics straining at the tether;
My bones would drift right into blanket hay
    If it were not such rough financial weather.
I’d never pen a par, or lay a lay,
    Or deck ambition’s cady with a feather
If I could clutch a whisky piping hot,
A plate of hash, a pension and a pot.

No, she will never set the Thames a-flame,
    Nor even churn a Western willy-willy,
My Muse! now growing greasy-heeled and lame:
    She never was too sprightly as a filly;
But now, God bless my stars! her fires are tame—
    They wouldn’t even boil a blanky billy,
Or grill a steak, or mull a glass of stout,
Garnished around with oysters—or without.

Get up, old girl! and give yourself a try—
    A snort, a cough, a whistle, or a whinny—
Some folk are waiting now outside to buy,
    If you’d display the spirit of a jenny!—
Prick up your ears! Just look a trifle spry,
    And we may catch the nimble half-a-guinea.
·        ·        ·        ·        ·
What! No? Well, dash my eyes, you are a cow,
To jib incontinently, here, and now!


“Now, you see,” said my friend, as we breasted a bar,
And he mentioned to Popsy, “A go of Three Star”—
“Now, you see, I am built on a different plan,
And avoid all extremes, like a moderate man—
But you! you can never touch liquor at all
Without kicking prudence right over the wall.

“You’ve a bad moral balance, a weakness somewhere,
A mental deficiency under your hair,
And large woolly rats get right into your ‘think’
The moment you open your gills for a drink—
Why not be like me? Have a will of your own,
And the firmness to take it or leave it alone.”

So we filled them again, and again, and some more,
While he started to probe the thing into the core;
Oh, he analysed drunkenness, torso and limb,
Till his phrases grew thick and his vision grew dim,
And he fully, but mildly, condemned as “a muff”
Any chap who said “Yes,” when he’d lowered enough.

“W’y the dickens,” he groaned and deplored, “cansh yer be
A (hic) moderate, senshible drinker, like me?
For”—he said as he sank to the floor with a groan—
“I’m a mansh (hic) can take it, or leave it alone.”

[Illustration: Woman presenting demonic pudding to man at table]

My Susy is a bird of Spring,
    A home-bird sweet and shy,
With rainbow colours on her wing
    And laughter in her eye:
My hopes in life flit round beneath
    Her coronet of fluff:
One hidden thorn within the wreath—
    She makes the Sunday duff!
            When Susy makes the duff,
            If man were sterner stuff,
        He’d kneel and plead at Mercy’s seat
            When Susy makes the duff.

It is not that she loves me less—
    That rare hymeneal sin!
It is not that her morning dress
    Cuts out the nimble “fin.”
It is not that her eyes of blue
    Convey the cold rebuff—
(Oh, let me, friend! confide in you)
    She makes the Sunday duff!
[171]             When Susy makes the duff!
            Love’s motor waxes rough,
            And all the world gets out of joint
            When Susy makes the duff!

I’ve tried all subtle arts and wiles
    To lure her from her bent;
I’ve even said, ’twixt frowns and smiles,
    That cooks are Devil-sent.
But “Oh,” she’ll say—and never show
    The shadow of a huff—
“My dearest Jim, I know, I know—
    I’ll make your Sunday duff!”
            When Susy makes the duff
            I groan “Enough, enough!”
        A stricken dear, in frozen truth,
            When Susy makes the duff!

Oh, shall I sigh and suffer still
    To act the martyr’s part?
Or shall I brave dyspepsia’s ill
    And indigestion’s smart?
No need recurring dates to con,
    Or write them on my cuff,
While Susy pins her apron on
    To make the Sunday duff!
        Ah, when she makes the duff,
            No grump be I, or gruff;
    But put the white man’s burden down
            When Susy makes the duff!


I would like to offer this word or two
        In a straight and a manly way,
From the deadhead’s room, where a light shines through
        With a dimmed and a sickly ray:
There are some folk born with a lucky caul,
        And a hobby to ride at will,
While for others—it isn’t the Lord at all,
        But the Devil, who drives the mill.

And though you may laugh on the mountain’s crown,
        And though I may toil at the base,
It is neither he who is up nor down
        Has himself to thank for his place;
But whether ’tis Fate, if you choose to say,
        Or say, if you choose, ’tis chance—
No matter—the tune that their fingers play
        Is exactly the step we dance.

Yet if all the tales that are told be wrong,
        And though reason be topmost yet,
There’s a broken chord in the tempting song
        And a “something” of cheap regret;
[173] But a fig for the tones of the broken chord!
        And a fig for the tempting voice!
For a man must fight with a wooden sword
        Where he only has Hobson’s choice.

And so, with his hand to the pewter pot,
        And a smile on his frothy lip,
He follows the way of the drunken sot
        Like a dog to his master’s whip;
And at last, with a curse on the hopeless strife,
        He will knock at the Border Gate
As he slings his hat in the face of Life,
        And his boots in the teeth of Fate.

[Decoration: Man with swag walking away]


Good-day! Good-day, my ancient friend!”
    We threw our swags beside the track—
For twenty solid years on end,
Spent as Life’s spendthrifts only spend,
                I’d not met Jack!

A battered wreck, and tempest tossed,
    This friend and brother tramp of mine,
With tangled, matted beard of frost—
As rough as seas that he had crossed
                Since Auld Lang Syne!

I watched him for an answering glance—
    Some sprig of memory, fresh and green,
Of days when through our merry dance
We wove a rough and rare romance
                At Ballandean!

“Old Jack!” I said; “Old Jack McQuade!”
    And grasped his lean and palsied hand—
“However wide our lives have strayed,
You surely recognise the shade
                Of Charlie Brand?”

But still he munched his blackened clay;
    I felt no warmth within his palm;
He shook his matted head of grey,
And clutched his prisoned hand away
                In half alarm.

“Ah, no!” he answered; “Stranger, no!
    No other life than this I’ve known.
For forty years of sun and snow,
As seasons come, and seasons go,
                I’ve been alone!”

“But hark you back, McQuade!” I said—
    “The days, the happy days, old mate!
We plucked the gums for roseleaf beds,
And rung, we two, the Southern sheds
                To Delegate!

“You never thought that hearts could break,
    You never thought that love could mar,
When, Jack! a jolly roving rake,
You kissed Good-bye to Mary Blake
                At Freney’s bar!

“Come, come, old boy! chase back the cold,
    And warm your heart at Friendship’s fire—
Be still the self-same Jack of old—
As true as steel, as good as gold,
                As tough as wire!”

A phantom smile a moment played
    Around his visage, worn and wan—
“Ah, friend! you’ve dreamt a dream,” he said:
“I’ve had no mate! I’ve loved no maid!”
                And wandered on.

“Oh, stay!” I cried; “a thousand themes
    Come thronging back at Memory’s call—
The gum-fringed plains, the oak-girt streams—
A wondrous sunlight glows and gleams
                Above them all!”

He faded through the twilight grey.
    A chill shot through my very spine—
A deadly chill, that seemed to say,
“And even like to him, are they—
                All dreams of thine!

“They flit above some fancied sphere,
    Those eyes that smile, those lips that pray.
The silent winds that blew last year
Along the banks of Windermere
                Are more than they.”

“Then why,” I shrieked, “do gods create?”
    As nightfall near and nearer drew,
On either side, a closèd gate ...
I stood, an old man, desolate,
                Between the two.


Ye, who are caught in the bonds of debt!
    Ye, who are whipt with the thongs of scorn!
Feeding the ghost of some old regret
    Born in a world that was tempest torn!
List to the words of a creed benign
    Preached through the ages by old Omar:
Content ye, then, with a flask of Wine,
    A girl, a song—and a good cigar!

The years that vanish leave no redress;
    Last evening never a bridge has spanned;
So loll we here in the wilderness
    That Love has sown in the arid sand:
The bush-birds sing of a world divine
    As Pomp rolls by in its gilded car;
And I sit just so—with your hand in mine,
    A bottle of wine—and a good cigar.

Heed not the pestilent kill-joys’ screech
    That dulls your ears to the voice of Sue!
Disdain the gospel that dour men preach
    To hide the light of her eyes from you!
[178] Why should we sorrow, and sit supine
    Or clutch the rays of some mystic star
While Love hangs near, on its drooping vine—
    And smoke-wreaths curl from a good cigar?

This is the moment of all the year,
    Casting a rose as it passes by—
Catch it quick! ere the leaves grow sere,
    Blushing now ’neath an Austral sky;
For its petals whisper of His design,
    Its heart is bursting with Life’s attar:
“A shady nook, with a flask of wine,
    A lass, a loaf—and a good cigar!”

[Decoration: Man leading camel]

[Illustration: Four men in a bar]

The night is waning—Good-night! Good-night!
    —I promised Sue to be home by nine:
    A sacred promise, though amber wine
Sparkles and laughs in the crystal bright,
But the hours fly by with an eerie flight
    When friends grow mellow and glasses clink,
    And I’ll venture not to the tempting brink
When the night is waning—Good-night! Good-night!

No, not another—the hop and vine
    May wilt and wither like western grass;
    Oh, well, if I must—in a final glass
I will drink a toast to a girl divine,
[180] I will drink a toast to this wife of mine,
    A queen, enthroned in the hearts of men!
    Eh! What’s that striking? It can’t be ten,
For I promised Sue to be home by nine.

Pshaw! Sue is tucked in the sheets, I guess,
    And Towzer guards at my outer gate
    With a sleepless eye and a fang-girt pate,
Cruel and callous and pitiless.
Then, what of a night the more or less?
    Come, fill up the glasses from heel to brim!
    Till daylight nears and the stars grow dim,
And the new day yawns from its drowsiness.

For lives are merry while hearts are true,
    Though the sun may wink through the window pane
    And she’ll say “Algernon! drunk again!”
With a limpid tear in her eyes of blue,
But I’ll stroke her hair of a flaxen hue,
    And I’ll kiss her lips of a rosebud red
    And, harness and all, I will flop to bed
And dream of the promise I made to Sue!


Men are rushing through the level, or are delving in the shaft,
    Or a-belting like the devil at a moil—
With a bitter curse for Adam, as the pioneer of graft
    And the bloke who took a patent out for toil.
But they ought to mark a ticket at a game of pak-a-pu,
    Or assume the thankful mien of holiness,
Since the Managing Director found them other work to do
    Than that of churning “copy” for the press!

For the misbegotten smudger wends along his inky way,
    Haply dodging past the commonplace and trite
As he follows on the faintest scent of ‘incident’ by day,
    And he notes it on his washing bill by night;
But what time the Sunday Sun comes out from press, all piping hot,
    He is tempted sore to sky the blanky wipe,
When he hears the dullest dunces in the town cry, “Tommyrot!”
    And the johnny push abolish it as “Tripe!”

For at times the breath of Life grows cold, the outlook brown and flat,
    And without one touch of colour there at all;
And there’s nothing but a vacancy beneath a rhymer’s hat,
    And the pictures all are “turned towards the wall.”
Then he reaches for a bottle of Glen Shicker on the shelf,
    As a cobber who may share the strain and stress
With a very seedy poet, who pours piffle out for pelf,
    In the columns of the western Sunday Press.

And when those two collaborate, a change comes o’er the scene,
    (It happens so when kindred spirits meet)
For here and there, a patch of red! and here and there, of green!
    And a chirpy crowd goes laughing down the street!
The genial face of Friendship ’gainst the window-pane is pressed,
    And an optimist keeps boredom well at bay,
Whilst a maiden comes a-tripping, with a rosebud at her breast,
    Adown his mental corridors of grey.

Then the murky fluid splashes, and his flagging pulses swell,
    Till a neighbour’s rooster greets the morning star,
[183] And a sound comes floating westward, like the echo of a bell,
    Calling men to where the loaves and fishes are.
For crude, unbroken fancies get the bit between their teeth,
    While the earth puts on a very different guise,
And even Sorrow’s self assumes a far less sombre wreath
    When the poet and the snifter fraternise.

They are rushing through the levels, and are drumming in the stopes,
    And a-cursing at the ‘presser’ and the hose;
But they never took to dancing where the Printer pulls the ropes
    And the Editor blue-pencils half their prose,
And the proofman designates their airy, fairy verse as ‘slim,’
    And the staff guard by the door with broken bricks,
As they tremulously venture to suggest a modest ‘jim’
    For a ‘liquid’ poem, costing eight-and-six!

[Illustration: Man asleep outdoors]

I camped last night in a desert grey
    ’Neath the eyes of a million stars,
For they all had come in their vestments gay,
Like a laughing host in the wake of day,
    To the shrine of the midnight bars.

And satyrs slid on the glinting spars
    Of light, through the halls of space,
And Venus served from the vintage jars,
And a blossom shone on the nose of Mars
    And a smile on the old Moon’s face.

My castle’s roof was the spangled sky
    And its carpet of sea-green moss;
And its walls were curtained with tapestry, ...
And the face of her I had kissed Good-bye
    Was enshrined in the Southern Cross.

As I gazed, the stars kept clustering,
    And closer and closer crept,
Until I and they, we were all a-swing,
When an owl flew down on a drowsy wing
    And we blew out the light ... and slept.

[Decoration: Mining equipment]


Do you know, if a chap could write and write,
    As editors pay and pay,
                There’d be whips of sport
                For the “shingle short”
    On the rhymer’s inky way—
If the theme be bright and the hand as light
    As the touch of a skeeter’s wing,
                There is good red gold
                In the Press-ship’s hold
    For the songs that the rhymers sing.

There are stacks of room in the ranks of rhyme
    For the persifleurs to fill—
                There are plums and perks
                For the bloke who works
    With a tireless, lilting quill—
There are “values,” set in the measured line,
    And “jim” in the tuneful scrawl,
                Where the ore falls thick
                To the light pen-prick,
    And the sky is a hanging-wall.

There are no high backs in the rhymer’s stope,
    No depths in the rhyming vein—
                Not a drop of sweat
                In the deft coup-let,
    Or ache in a whole quatrain;
And editor-men, with their bags of gold,
    Come out from their inky lairs,
                And they doff their caps
                To the rhymer-chaps,
    As they bid for the rhymer’s wares.

So we sit aloft in our cushioned chairs
    And scrawl for the world below,
                And we smile aloud
                At the toiling crowd,
    As the toilers come and go—
For they say, of all at the desk or mine
    Who drudge for a daily wage,
                There are scores of men
                With a rhymer’s pen
    Who could blazon the world’s wide page!

And we glean from the supercilious bard—
    The tilt of a scornful nose—
                That the joyous call
                Of a madrigal,
    The voice of a wild red rose,
[188] Awake in his room when the lamp burns low,
    And the buzz-flies sink to rest;
                And his throbbing brain,
                With a mad refrain,
    Sings the Soul-Song of the West.

But we of the “Times” and the “Sunday Sin”
    Are the recreants of rhyme,
                For our hearts won’t thud
                And our souls won’t bud
    Till the Oof-bird calls the time.
And we write—just so—for the clink of coin
    And the incense of a quid,
                And the deathless name
                On the scroll of fame,
    My brothers! awaits your bid.

[Decoration: Black Swan]


If you cannot be the needle, be the thread;
If you cannot ride a motor, be a ped.;
    If you cannot cut the figure
    Of a bloke chockful of vigour,
            Please be dead—
’Tis the softest snap of any to be dead.

If you cannot be a hero, be a skunk;
If you cannot be the barman, be the drunk;
    If you cannot scale Parnassus
    Flop right down among the asses,
            Friend! kerplunk—
Like a flapjack on a platter, lob kerplunk.

If you cannot be the ocean, be a drop;
If you cannot be the sergeant, be a cop;
    It is not the act of falling
    That is said to be appalling,
            But the stop—
There’s a prejudice, somehow, against the stop.

If you cannot win the heiress, take the cook;
If a failure as a burglar, be a “hook”;
    ’Tis the worst of all life’s phases,
    If you’re on the road to blazes,
            To go crook—
And the world just guys you worse for going crook.

If you can’t get gin and bitters, stick to rum;
If you cannot be a spendthrift, be a hum;
    If your credit grows so slender
    That you can’t dig up a bender,
            Take a thrum—
There’s a dim religious light about the thrum.

If you cannot be the candle, be the moth;
If you cannot be the weaver, be the cloth;
    If Life’s waitresses say “Dicken!”
    When you reach out for the chicken,
            Cop the broth—
There’s a deal of consolation in the broth.

Doesn’t matter if you’re single or you’re wed,
Still the rose-leaves always crumble in your bed;
    But the sea ahead is placid,
    Just a dose of prussic acid,
            And you’re dead—
Those alternatives won’t matter when you’re dead.


No heart-whole songs of the Golden West
    Come ever at night to me,
Who suckled not at her broad, brown breast
    Nor played at her giant knee,
                Nor laughed or cried
                By her ingle-side,
As a kid in his ain countree.

I find no warmth in the gleam of gold,
    No soul in the West’s expanse;
And actors, cast in a heavy mould,
    All people the day’s romance;
                And pipe I still
                With a right good will,
Yet the fays of the stage won’t dance!

I know full well that the fault is mine—
    That the skies are just as blue,
That life is fair, and the lights that shine
    In your sweetheart’s eyes are true;
                And twilights gray
                And the break of day
Have a message to tell to you.

But I hear it not, or only hear
    As a dull and prosy theme—
Then drift away to a day somewhere
    In the wake of Fancy’s team,
                That travels straight
                For an old swing gate,
By the side of an oak-girt stream.

’Twas not the lure of a gate that led,
    Nor yet of an oak-fringed creek,
But the memory of a gold-thatched head
    And a tear-besprinkled cheek—
                A stifled sigh,
                And a last good-bye
In the language that love can speak!

I pictured Kate at the cottage door,
    Like a home-bird by her nest,
With the self-same summer dress she wore
    On the day I moved out West—
                The self-same shoes
                And the same heart-bruise
And the same pink rose at her breast.

I urged my team with a supple wrist,
    And they scampered over the grass ...
With Katie Clare I must keep the tryst
    Of a lover with a lass ...
[193]                 Oh, I minded well
                Of her eyes’ soft spell;
But forgot how the years may pass!

I drew a rein ... ’Neath the trysting tree
    Were a matron and her brood;
And I said, “My sweetheart waits for me
    In this half-enchanted wood:
                And the fairest fair
                Is my Katie Clare,
Of the whole world’s sisterhood!”

Then the matron stared with a puzzled stare
    That changed to a gloomy frown
(I marked her looks were the worse for wear,
    And her heels were somewhat down),
                And she snapped, “Ah! Kate?
                She went out of date
When I married old Pigweed Brown.”

Then I thanked my stars, and left the team,
    As I gripped the paw of Fate
And air-planed over the oak-girt stream,
    And over the old swing gate—
                And cried not crack
                Till I landed back
In this hub of the Western State.


No more verses in praise of Wine!
    No more gauds for the gods of Woe!
Better by far to sit supine
    Watching the current of strong life flow,
    Crouched by a hearth where the false fires glow;
Conning the comedy, line by line—
    No more gauds for the gods of Woe!
No more verses in praise of Wine!

Shirking the fight that a man should fight,
    Dodging the joys that a man should know,
Scorning the breath of a plumed thought’s flight,
    Down with the swine and the husks below—
    ’Tis thus we reap from the seed we sow!
Hearts grow withered and locks grow white,
    Dodging the joys that a man should know,
Shirking the fight that a man should fight.

No more verses in praise of Wine!
    Where are the glorious days we knew
Touched with the rays of a light divine,
    Decked with a garland of thyme and rue?
[195]     Where is their glamour for yours and you?
Where is their laughter for me and mine?
    Where are the glorious days we knew
Ere knees were bent to the gods of Wine?

See our boat, with a broken mast,
    Cleaving a sea that is rough and grey!
Cargoes come to the port at last:
    Ashes and Dead Sea fruit are they.
    The climax this of a soul-less play—
We were the stars of a soul-less cast—
    Over a sea that is rough and grey
Drifts our boat, with a broken mast.

No more verses in praise of Wine!
    Yet, through a tangle of years and strife,
Constant still do her true eyes shine—
    Mother, or sweetheart, or child, or wife.
    Is there a haven where Hope is rife,
Holding a remnant of life’s design?
    Is there a light on the shores of life,
Pointing a course from the sea of Wine?


We singers standing on the outer rim,
Who touch the fringe of poesy at times
With half-formed thoughts, rough-set in halting rhymes,
Through which no airy flights of fancy skim—
We write just so, an hour to while away,
And turn the well-thumbed stock still o’er and o’er,
As men have done a thousand times before,
And will again, just as we do to-day.

We have no fire to set men’s brains aglow;
We have no tune to set the world a-swing;
There is no throb within the songs we sing
To flush the heart where passions ebb and flow.
We have no master’s hand to strike the keys;
We lay no claim at all to bardic bays,
But write (for coin) our topic-tinctured lays
And come, and go, like any evening breeze.

But I, for one, would never weep the lack
Of monumental works, and noble themes,
But rest content by slopes where Demos dreams
And leave Parnassus’ heights upon my back,
[197] If I could write (as any man should write)
About the world within my garden wall,
And never dream inspired dreams at all
To live still on when I had sought the night.

If I could take that rosebud from its stem
And weave its petals in a simple rhyme,
So you could hear the bells of springtime chime,
And you could see the flower-soul in them—
Or else, we’ll say, a magpie on a limb,
Greeting the sunrise with its matin song—
To catch the music as it floats along,
And link its spirit to a bush-child’s hymn.

Or if—but, then, the limitations rise
Like barriers across the mental plain,
And mists and things obscure the rhymer’s brain
And dull his ears, and cloud his blinking eyes.
And so we write as Nature sets her gauge—
No worse than most, and better, p’raps, than some,
But should a man remain for ever dumb
When only rhythm fills his aimless page?


When you stand within Life’s limelight to declaim your little piece—
        Let your hearers chip and chivvy as they may—
And you go on nigh despairing, ’neath your mummer-paint and grease,
        As you massacre the part you have to play:
                You may come before the curtain
                        And erect your ragged crest,
                If you’re absolutely certain
                        That you’ve done your level best!

If you’re put away like lumber, on the very topmost shelf,
        And the phalanx of Success’s pets condemn,
Just remember most approval worth a cent comes from yourself,
        And heave brick for brick, “Old Failure!” back at them:
                For no matter how they mutter,
                        You are worthy as the rest,
                When you’re lying in the gutter,
                        If the gutter is your best!
[Illustration: People being directed to their eternal destiny]
“Where no scallywag or sinner
May be counted as a guest.”
Mark the “pity for a failure!” as the motor-hog whisks by,
        And the derelict steps quickly from his path:
See the supercilious patronage that lights the preacher’s eye!
        As he maunders of a glowing aftermath,
                Where no scallywag or sinner
                        May be counted as a guest
                When the trumpet sounds for dinner—
                        Though he did his level best!

Never mind, old Rags and Tatters! when you reach the “golden stairs,”
        You may meet a Godlike cobber, who will say,
“Though you’ve hobnobbed with the Devil, and forgot your vesper prayers,
        You were only as I fashioned forth your clay—
                Whether scoffer who denied Me,
                        Or a saint who beat his breast,
                Only he may stand beside me
                        Who has done his level best!”

[Illustration: FINIS]

Morton’s Limited, Printers, 75 Ultimo Road, Sydney.

Transcriber’s Note

Inconsistent hyphenation (cocky patch/cocky-patch, fantods/fan-tod, flower-soul/flower soul, Glory rose/glory-rose, hobby-horse/hobby horse, inmost soul/inmost-soul, maiden hair/maidenhair, outback/out-back, rose-leaves/rose leaves/roseleaf, springtime/spring-time, taproom/tap-room, tempest tossed/tempest-tossed, window pane/window-pane) and non-standard spelling (smoothes, cris-crossed) retained.

Updated editions will replace the previous one—the old editions will be renamed.
Creating the works from print editions not protected by U.S. copyright law means that no one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without permission and without paying copyright royalties. Special rules, set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to copying and distributing Project Gutenberg™ electronic works to protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG™ concept and trademark. Project Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you charge for an eBook, except by following the terms of the trademark license, including paying royalties for use of the Project Gutenberg trademark. If you do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the trademark license is very easy. You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and research. Project Gutenberg eBooks may be modified and printed and given away—you may do practically ANYTHING in the United States with eBooks not protected by U.S. copyright law. Redistribution is subject to the trademark license, especially commercial redistribution.
To protect the Project Gutenberg™ mission of promoting the free distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work (or any other work associated in any way with the phrase “Project Gutenberg”), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project Gutenberg™ License available with this file or online at
Section 1. General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg™ electronic works
1.A. By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg™ electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property (trademark/copyright) agreement. If you do not agree to abide by all the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy all copies of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works in your possession. If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project Gutenberg™ electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.
1.B. “Project Gutenberg” is a registered trademark. It may only be used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement. There are a few things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg™ electronic works even without complying with the full terms of this agreement. See paragraph 1.C below. There are a lot of things you can do with Project Gutenberg™ electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg™ electronic works. See paragraph 1.E below.
1.C. The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation (“the Foundation” or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works. Nearly all the individual works in the collection are in the public domain in the United States. If an individual work is unprotected by copyright law in the United States and you are located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg are removed. Of course, we hope that you will support the Project Gutenberg™ mission of promoting free access to electronic works by freely sharing Project Gutenberg™ works in compliance with the terms of this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg™ name associated with the work. You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project Gutenberg™ License when you share it without charge with others.
1.D. The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern what you can do with this work. Copyright laws in most countries are in a constant state of change. If you are outside the United States, check the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project Gutenberg™ work. The Foundation makes no representations concerning the copyright status of any work in any country other than the United States.
1.E. Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:
1.E.1. The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate access to, the full Project Gutenberg™ License must appear prominently whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg™ work (any work on which the phrase “Project Gutenberg” appears, or with which the phrase “Project Gutenberg” is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed, copied or distributed:
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.
1.E.2. If an individual Project Gutenberg™ electronic work is derived from texts not protected by U.S. copyright law (does not contain a notice indicating that it is posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees or charges. If you are redistributing or providing access to a work with the phrase “Project Gutenberg” associated with or appearing on the work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the Project Gutenberg™ trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.
1.E.3. If an individual Project Gutenberg™ electronic work is posted with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional terms imposed by the copyright holder. Additional terms will be linked to the Project Gutenberg™ License for all works posted with the permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.
1.E.4. Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg™ License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg™.
1.E.5. Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project Gutenberg™ License.
1.E.6. You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary, compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any word processing or hypertext form. However, if you provide access to or distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg™ work in a format other than “Plain Vanilla ASCII” or other format used in the official version posted on the official Project Gutenberg™ website (, you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon request, of the work in its original “Plain Vanilla ASCII” or other form. Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg™ License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.
1.E.7. Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying, performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg™ works unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.
1.E.8. You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing access to or distributing Project Gutenberg™ electronic works provided that:
• You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from the use of Project Gutenberg™ works calculated using the method you already use to calculate your applicable taxes. The fee is owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg™ trademark, but he has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. Royalty payments must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax returns. Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the address specified in Section 4, “Information about donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.”
• You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg™ License. You must require such a user to return or destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of Project Gutenberg™ works.
• You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days of receipt of the work.
• You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free distribution of Project Gutenberg™ works.
1.E.9. If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg™ electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the manager of the Project Gutenberg™ trademark. Contact the Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.
1.F.1. Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread works not protected by U.S. copyright law in creating the Project Gutenberg™ collection. Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg™ electronic works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain “Defects,” such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by your equipment.
1.F.2. LIMITED WARRANTY, DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES - Except for the “Right of Replacement or Refund” described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project Gutenberg™ trademark, and any other party distributing a Project Gutenberg™ electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal fees. YOU AGREE THAT YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY, BREACH OF WARRANTY OR BREACH OF CONTRACT EXCEPT THOSE PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH 1.F.3. YOU AGREE THAT THE FOUNDATION, THE TRADEMARK OWNER, AND ANY DISTRIBUTOR UNDER THIS AGREEMENT WILL NOT BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ACTUAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
1.F.3. LIMITED RIGHT OF REPLACEMENT OR REFUND - If you discover a defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a written explanation to the person you received the work from. If you received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with your written explanation. The person or entity that provided you with the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a refund. If you received the work electronically, the person or entity providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund. If the second copy is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further opportunities to fix the problem.
1.F.4. Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you ‘AS-IS’, WITH NO OTHER WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PURPOSE.
1.F.5. Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages. If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by the applicable state law. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.
1.F.6. INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone providing copies of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works in accordance with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production, promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works, harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg™ work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any Project Gutenberg™ work, and (c) any Defect you cause.
Section 2. Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg™
Project Gutenberg™ is synonymous with the free distribution of electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers. It exists because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from people in all walks of life.
Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the assistance they need are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg™’s goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg™ collection will remain freely available for generations to come. In 2001, the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure and permanent future for Project Gutenberg™ and future generations. To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4 and the Foundation information page at
Section 3. Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service. The Foundation’s EIN or federal tax identification number is 64-6221541. Contributions to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state’s laws.
The Foundation’s business office is located at 809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887. Email contact links and up to date contact information can be found at the Foundation’s website and official page at
Section 4. Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
Project Gutenberg™ depends upon and cannot survive without widespread public support and donations to carry out its mission of increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be freely distributed in machine-readable form accessible by the widest array of equipment including outdated equipment. Many small donations ($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt status with the IRS.
The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United States. Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up with these requirements. We do not solicit donations in locations where we have not received written confirmation of compliance. To SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any particular state visit
While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who approach us with offers to donate.
International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from outside the United States. U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.
Please check the Project Gutenberg web pages for current donation methods and addresses. Donations are accepted in a number of other ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations. To donate, please visit:
Section 5. General Information About Project Gutenberg™ electronic works
Professor Michael S. Hart was the originator of the Project Gutenberg™ concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared with anyone. For forty years, he produced and distributed Project Gutenberg™ eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.
Project Gutenberg™ eBooks are often created from several printed editions, all of which are confirmed as not protected by copyright in the U.S. unless a copyright notice is included. Thus, we do not necessarily keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.
Most people start at our website which has the main PG search facility:
This website includes information about Project Gutenberg™, including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.