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A Sister's Love
A poem by Wm. Beer
'These flowers and trees are to put on poor Dannie's grave.' Kate Kelly.
YOUNG maiden, lonely in your grief,
Return to home once more,
And see the grave of brother Dan,
Which plant with flowers a score.
Fresh mem'ries to your mind they'll bring
As out in flower they bloom,
And joined with old remembrances
Will be their sweet perfume.
The trees, as to the skies they tower,
Enclosing in the mound,
Will also lead your thoughts to him
Who lies beneath the ground.
"Poor Dannie's grave" these trees and flowers
Will ornament and grace :
"Poor Dannie's grave !" Alas that he
Had died in such disgrace !
Young men of Austral-- fair, and strong,
And brave--think of his fate ;
Young maidens of Australia, too,
Learn from his sister Kate.
"Poor Dannie's grave !" these are her words;
O for a love like hers !
Think of her faithfulness to him ;
Her love knows no demurs.
The law has been revenged ; his death
Has satisfied the State :
But Kate will plant her trees and flowers ;
She will not soon forget.
You boast a mother's love,--ah, yes,
A mother's lore is strong :
But I will boast a sister's love,--
Her love o'erlooks a wrong.
And I will sing of Katie's love,
And her affection praise :
Her Dan has to the earth returned ;
She at his tomb delays.
He was her brother,--thus it is
She longs of him to think :
She is his sister,--do you need
A more resisting link ?
Bound thus together all life through
, What must the sequel be
When there is taken from her sight
A brother young as he ?
* * * * *
O depth of horrors ! how shall I
Describe the scene in verse,
When Kate--poor broken-hearted girl--
Sees Dannie at his worst ?
And can it be that she beholds
Her brother Dannie's form ?
Alas, it is ! for he is snatched
From out the fiery storm.
She clasps that form as black as night--
The fire has charred him o'er ;
Yet still the sister clasps her Dan,
And they unite once more.
"Speak, Dannie, speak !" No voice replies ;
" O, Dan, your sister calls ! "
But still he knows her not, nor heeds,
Nor moves, although she bawls.
Poor girl ! Is there a heart so hard
In Austral who could feel
Unmoved by such undying love ?
That heart 'twere hard as steel.
Then plant your trees, and flowers and shrubs,
And watch them as they grow ;
And while they mark poor Dannie's grave.
They will your true love show.
Gundagai, April 11, 1881.
From the NSW newspaper the Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser Friday 15 April 1881 p. 4.
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory