Original Poetry, written by a K.I. resident in 1878.
Our Brave Old Pioneers.
Far from England's shores they came,
Their hearts were true and brave,
To colonize vast unknown lands
They crossed the ocean wave.
Praying that luck might be their lot,
Filled with strange hopes and fears,
Out to Australia's wondrous wilds
Came our brave pioneers.
How many left behind them
The poor old folks at home,
Breathing for them a blessing
Wherever they might roam.
How many did, at parting,
Shed bitter, feeling tears.
And with a kind 'God bless you,'
Dismissed our pioneers.
How many toilsome years have fled
Since that sad parting time.
How many numbered with the dead
In this our sunny clime.
Died in Australia ! Ah! those words
Ring on some loved one's ears.
Alas! another gone, they say,
Poor brave old pioneers.
When first arrived they dwell in tents,
And houses built of mud,
And some they used the limestone raised
From quarries in the scrub.
The food of these brave men was plain,
They toiled from morn till night,
Far, far from this our well-built town
To the Great Australian Bight.
Far o'er Australia's burning plains,
Far in her forests wild,
They spread like busy bees inland,
And work their time beguiled.
Great giant trees they fell to earth,
Then piled them up in tiers,
The brows oft wet with honest sweat
On our brave pioneers.
They cared not for the wild dog's howl,
They crushed the deadly snakes,
They bored the mountains, ploughed the soil
And fortunes tried to make.
Though some succeeded, others failed
To gain their wished for homes,
While many in the lonely bush
Left white and bleaching bones.
They penetrated far into
Australia's trackless waste,
And oft the want of water there
The wanderer's name effaced,
Until perhaps long after,
As some bushman homeward steers,
He finds, alas ! sad relics
Of long lost pioneers.
Ah! who can tell the hardships
And the trials that they endured,
When first the work they started
That we have now matured.
How many miles of scrub was cleared
By them who knew no fears?
They won our present fertile fields,
These bronzed old pioneers.
Our telegraph now stretches far,
From the east unto the south,
And we for miles can converse hold,
Simply by word of mouth.
Our railways too spread far and wide
Where wild men once held sway,
How surely we have forged ahead,
See where we are today.
Now all you young Australians,
and Adelaideans too,
Who dwell among these wonders,
and everything so new,
Just give a thought to those who wrought
And ease the closing years
Of those brave men, may God bless them,
and save our pioneers.
Composed and written in May 1878, but never published. By G.A.P., C.W., K.I. Revised and recopied for the "Courier" Nov. 1907.ORIGINAL POETRY. (1907, December 21). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article191635656
[for "men" read "men and women" ! - Ed.]
Like a grim sentinel the Troubridge Light-house stands
Full eighty feet above the Island sands.
Clothed in its uniform of red and white,
Casting o'er the waters its brilliant rays of light.
A warning fair to mariners
Of treacherous reef and shoal
A monument of danger
Where wild mad breakers roll.
Mid'st calm and howling tempest
Its light must never fail,
But pierce the utmost darkness
Though winds they shriek and wail.
Hour by hour the keepers watch
And note thy ceaseless turning,
At periods the works they wind
And keep the lamp well burning.
Eight rays must shine out clear and bright
O'er sands and ocean's foam,
A welcome sign to vessels
That they are nearing home.
Some captain may uneasy be
And think his course not right,
But soon his doubts they vanish
When flashes Troubridge Light.
"Welcome then," he cries,
And steers wide of the Marion Reef,
For he can rest in comfort now
And trust in his relief.
Though thunders roll and lightnings flash
And rage through stormy night,
Still darkness never yet must find
Tall Troubridge not alight.
Then when comes the rosy dawn
The long night watch is done,
The keeper fills the lamps and leaves
When shines the morning sun.
Turn on then, Troubridge,
Send out thy rays afar,
Illume the way
Like some good guiding star.
Long may thy tower,
So tall, so quaint and free,
Keep guard o'er dangers
Mid'st the treacherous sea.
G.A.P., C.W., K.I.ORIGINAL POETRY. (1909, March 6). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article191637225
THE OLD MULBERRY TREE (Kingscote)
(by RACEY SCHLANK).
In solitude it waits alone,
The sentinel of a sea-girt strand,
A lonely tree— forlorn to stand
A monument upon the land.
The hand that placed it in the soil,
The eyes that saw each shoot appear,
And held, maybe, its first fruits dear,
Have vanished in a long past-year.
And yet, methinks, no carven stone,
Or tablets writ in letters bold,
Can such a tale of truth unfold
As this tree relic, gnarled and old.
The bleak winds whistle through the boughs,
Their ancient tales of land and sea,
This island's wondrous mystery
What was— and yet may prove to be.
The pioneers from other lands
Whose axes broke the brushwood still,
Who built their fires by stream and rill
Their proudest dreams are with us still.
For their's the faith of heart and brain
To plant new seed within the sod,
And where no foot of man had trod
To will the wheat ears' sway and nod.
Ay ! their's the faith of heart and brain,
That left in record by the sea,
Still standing in tranquility,
The staunch old mulberry tree!
No experts sent by man can tell,
As this old tree remains to show
The treasure that the land can grow,
The wealth 'twill learn to know.
In solitude it waits alone
The sentinel of the sea-girt strand,
A lonely tree, forlorn, to stand
A monument upon the land.
Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), Monday 21 February 1910, page 10
[By Racey Schlank.]
Where the white and silver seabird
Calls to seabird overhead,
Where a myriad frail shells crumble
At the stranger's careless tread;
There's a brushwood isle, sea-girdled,
Where the bushman's axes swing,
To and fro upon the timber,
With a free, metallic ring.
Under winter skies, grey-mantled—
Under summer skies, blood-red—
When the creeks are running bankers,
Or the land is parched and dead;
Nature opens every pathway
In a melody of rhyme,
For the bushman's axe is ringing
Down the avenues of time.
And Dame Nature calls her children,
Shows what's here alone to give,
And she opens all her treasures,
And she teaches them to live.
And the perfume of the wildwood.
And the swaying branches' sigh,
In the lone bush home at evening,
Is the bushman's lullaby.
There are pioneers of fortune
In the timbers' tangled way—
There are pioneers of failure
Where the chiming hammers play.
But the swinging of their axes
Is the Empire builders' rhyme,
To be traced upon the pages
Of Fate's melodies of Time.