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Canowindra (1902)

Canowindra, little township of which I've heard so much,
The drought at last in mercy has relieved you from it's clutch.
Approaching east from Chapel Hill, your houses lie down under ;
O'er head clouds change from blue to black, accumulating thunder.
Short time ago your kills and dales were withered dry and brown,
And on old settlers' brows there hung a melancholy frown.
To-day the birds, rejoicing, cleave the moisture-laden air ;
Your crops and grass look fresh and green--a prospect bright and fair.

I know of towns less wealthy which have buildings large and grand ;
Why this should be--now thinking hard--I cannot understand !--
Perhaps, like many other towns, your people won't agree--
The fault then lies within yourself, so don't blame Mr. See.
You want new postal buildings ; well, just listen to my song--
Join hands for old Canowindra's good, and matters help along !
Put selfish motives on one side, likewise all spirit mean ;
If not in old town or in new, why--build it in between.

There's business stir and bustle in your cramped and narrow street ;
I hear the noisy clattering of men and woman's feet ;
There's water in Belubula flowing under Waddell bridge
Well fed from distant mountains sloping down, and timbered ridge ;
There's glow of love in women's eyes to drive dull care away ;
Unless Canowindra men have hearts like steel or common clay,
They'll threw past worries to the wind and woo some pretty lass--
A pleasant wife, a little home, more rain and plenty grass

Towards the west on river bank stands tumble-down hotel ;
Could walls but speak what stirring yarns old Billie's pub could tell
Of devil-dare bush rangers, who held human life hut cheap !--
Yet that old pub is used to-day for shearing Cobley's sheep.
Your old bridge known as "Boarding House" has given place to new,
And men who built that same old bridge alive to-day are few ;
They pioneered Canowindra, gave their lives and passed away,--
May their spirits, now relieved from care, in peaceful slumber lay.

May the thought of those men's struggles, dwelling deep in younger minds
Give strength to pull together and distribute actions kind:
Don't trust to common Providence alone to pull you through
Good heart, strong will, kind thought and word, success will bring to you.
Oh, little, scattered, time-worn, rumble-tumble mining town,
Remember wealthy acres lie for many miles aroun' ;
Again who knows but some one will discover golden field--
E'en now Blue Jacket Company is getting richer yield.

Shake off that sleepy feeling which of late has bound your heart ;
I wish you all success, although before long we must part.
There's but one life worth living, only one hill worth the climb--
A life of truth and honor--and that hill not marked "lost time."
One more poem now is written--one more town I leave behind ;
My body may forget you, but you'll still live in the mind.
Good-bye Potts' Point, Blue Jacket Mine, Belubula, and Waddell,
Canowlndra girls, "Canowindra Star," Canowindra town--Farewell !



From the NSW Newspaper the Canowindra Star and Woodstock Recorder 3 Oct 1902 p. 1.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory