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A New Chum's Lament (1871)
The Brisbane "Express" publishes the following lamentation, from the pen of an unsuccessful new chum;--
"Oh ! Queensland, Queensland meek and mild--
Wet nurse for emigrating child--
Let me my humble nurse inspire,
To praise thee with prosaic fire.
Deep in this soil, it has been told,
Are hidden boards of glittering gold ;
But strong is he in back and loin,
Who findeth gold enough to coin.
If such there be, go, mark him well,
he'll prove to be no uncommon swell.
This is the land, at least they say,
Where Meliboes holds triumphant sway,
And he can be no than fool
Who doubts the excellence of wool.
Here, flocks in thousands peaceful roam,
And Downy Squatters find a home,
And what Australian but will swear
With mutton tinned, naught can compare ;
This la the land where cattle grand,
Run everywhere be kept on hand,
And can another place be found
with beef three half-pence for a pound !
Upon this land, prodigious gain
Is made, by planting sugar cane.
And can colonial hearts be glum,
When they quaff colonial rum !
What think you, now? That this will do ?
This land of gold and sheep and kangaroo--
Of cattle, sugar, tallow, hides,
Cotton and other things besides--
Of dugongs', blacks, and scrubby brakes--
This land of gold and carpet snakes !
If this be thine opinion, stay !
If not, move on another way !
Queensland farewell ! Though thou must be,
A great and giant colony ;
To thee, thou land of kangaroo,
I bid a sorrowless adieu."
From the Victorian Newspaper the Australasian Saturday 1 April 1871 p. 7.
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory