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From A Digger's Note Book (1859)
The Rocky is done like a dinner,
We've discussed both the wine and dessert,
Yet, like Pharoah's kine, we look thinner,
And for more are still on the alert.
Now, with digging as with eating and drinking,
We should not overstep Nature's law,
With sufficient of either, I'm thinking,
It is wise from the scene to withdraw.
But prudence we have not yet learned,
Like sailors on coming ashore ;
We madly spend all we have earned,
Then dun Madame Fortune for more.
Be provident, be cautious, gold hunter,
Don't tamper with Fortune's bright smiles ;
If by waste or neglect you affront her,
By Jove, she'll embitter your toils.
The present poor misguided digger,
Though his thoughts are all centered on pelf,
Toils hard like an American nigger,
To enrich every one but himself.
My advice is to give gold digging a trial--
No one knows where his fortune may lie
But if Mammon gives you the denial,
Pray--something more rational try !
Go to your former employment--
For digging is, sure, a bad life ;
There is no solid peace, or enjoyment :
If you want one, you can't get a wife !
NotesFrom the NSW Newspaper the Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser Sat 2 Jul 1859 p. 4.
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory