93 to 99  
Edwin Greenslade (Dryblower) Murphy  1899

 

We have reached the golden city

Limb and luggage safe and sound

Munched a sandwich as a stop gap

Until we’ve looked around

Cleansed our cuticle and garments

From disintegrating rock

And the waiter has informed us

Table d’hôte at eight o’clock

 

Down the street of hard macadam

Through the busy crowd we walk

Too full of thoughts for eulogy

Too wonderstruck to talk

Now this marvellous transition

And the wondrous work we see

Since we left the dust diggings

At the end of 93

 

There’s a world of swirl and fretting

There’s a pulsing clamorous town

There’s an army, hot and sweating

Delving downwards, ever down

There’s the stamp’s erratic thunder

And the locomotive’s scream

And we gaze again in wonder

It’s all a golden dream

 

And yet no black magicians art

This transformation wrought

With pluck, their assets, hopes there stay

Its founders bravely fought

With fortune like a flying sprite

With a vexing maze, undaunted still

Undaunted still they labour on

Throughout the weary days

 

The day we left the dusty hole

We knew as Hannans Find

And rushed to far Siberia

And left the gold behind

And the days we scoured the country

For another Baileys Reef

And finished after scouring

Mostly poverty and grief

 

When nothing under twenty ounces

Was any sort of news

When we laughed at wildcat builders

And exploded over views

Those were the days when sudden functions

Meant the quenching of a thirst

When the snakes appeared in bunches

In proportion to the burst

 

But the up to date bedant

And the exclusive club

Have swept the shypoo shanty

From its lair amidst the scrub

Hushed is now the lusty chorus

In the bush surrounding camp

Gone the pale warbled sing song

With its concertina vamp

 

In its place a leader tarple

With a repertoire unique

And a highly paid conductor

And an opposition clique

There are cooling punkers swinging

Slowly swinging to and fro

Where once our dishes rattled

In the thirst provoking glow

 

When Hannans Hill stood island like

Upon a silent sea

And baths were rather outré

In the days of 93

When the fluid came from Raeside Soak

A hundred there and back

When stores were priced according

To the ruts upon the track

 

No library we boasted

Mental pabulum we found

On the labels of the meat tins

Lying derelict around

Today a garcon hurries

To the tinkle of a bell

Where once we gasped and sweltered

In an undiluted hell

 

Today a city rises

Where a score of shanties stood

Today its name is fragrance

And its credit, sound and good

 

It’s justly earned the freedom

Of its patience pluck and skill

Growing greater, growing richer

To the music of the mill

There’s a world of swirl and fretting

There’s a pulsing clamorous town

There’s an army hot and sweatiung

Delving downwards, ever down

There’s the stamps eratic thunder

And the locomotive’s scream

As we gaze again in wonder

Is it all a golden dream

 

 

 

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