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Ode to The Rocky Meroo (1898)

How oft have I wandered by thy shady stream,
'Midst thy wild abrupt scenes outstretched to my view,
Till in my wrapt fancy I've thought it a dream,
Thou beautiful river, thou Rooky Meroo.

What treasures lay hidden in thy stony bed,
Which lavished by nature its rough channel strew ;
How many gold diggers by hopes have been led
To thy beautiful waters, thou Rocky Meroo ?

With my pick and my shovel and tin dish in hand,
O'er thy steep craggy ranges of dull sombre hue,
Prospecting I've rambled till brought to a stand
By thy serpentine waters, thou Rocky Meroo.

When the rains from the mountains fill gully and creek,
And roll to thy waters their tribute, thy due ;
Headlong they rush down, and wildly they sweep
With turbulent haste, thou Rocky Meroo.

How oft the poor digger sees hope crushed in the bud,
When arising at morn with sorrow to view
His fond cherished cradle borne down by the flood,
Thou swift sweeping river, thou Rocky Meroo.

Too brief are thy warnings, thou dark rapid stream,
The course of whose bed bright riches bestrew,
Anil thus the fair sunshine of hope proves a dream
'Midst thy grief mocking waters, thou Rocky Meroo.

Thy fickleness many will ne'er tempt again ;
The diggers remaining are now but a few,
And they fondly hoping once more to regain
Those long sought for favours, thou Rocky Meroo.

Yet still in my travels I fain think of thee,
Though I for a time now must bid thee adieu ;
My oft failing hopes ; yet where ever I be
I'll think of thy beauties, thou Rocky Meroo.



From the NSW Newspaper the The Walcha Witness and Vernon County Record 26 Nov 1898 p. 2.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory