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California (1850)

[The other week we wrote to a friend in Sydney asking if it was true that his son had returned
from the land of gold and ague; the following is the reply we received.--ED. G. H.]

Dear P----, your letter is duly received,
In reply, I can tell you, you're greatly deceived,
Both you and your townsfolk, by some cunning elf,
Who pretends to know more 'bout my son than myself :
The fact is, he's still in the country of Gold--
But intends to return--so the truth you're now told,
His letter from thence, enclosed for perusal,
Will inform you, his spirits are buoyant as usual ;
Though the fickle jade "fortune," has not up to this
Bestowed her sweet smile, on his rubicund phiz,
She has led him a "Will o' the Wisp" kind of travel
Through valleys of sand, o'er hillocks of gravel,
From the mines to the town and the town to the mines,
Where his log-framed caboose, got washed down by the rains ;
Yet, resolved in the summer to woo her once more,
He hopes through her smiles to reach Sydney shore.
All the rest is in future--but his EARNEST ADVICE is,
FRIENDS stay were you are ! for HERE ARE VERY FEW PRIZES !
Though the thousands that flock from East, West, North and South,
There's many with "NOTHING" to put in their mouth--
And so eager to leave, that on board ship they haste,
And work their way home, as men "fore the mast."


From the NSW Newspaper the Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser 23 Mar 1850 p. 6.

The "forty niners" of the 1849 discovery of gold in California were prospectors from across the globe and would have a dramatic effect on the search for gold in Australia.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory