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  ― 99 ―

The West Coasters

  (Tasmania)

AUSTRALIA sings her Over-land,
From Murray back to Bourke,
Her three-mile tracks, her sun and sand,
Her men that do the work;
But here's to them, fill high the glass,
Who breasted drifting snow,
Tramping through the button-grass. …
Forty years ago!

From Emu Bay to Williamsford,
From Strahan to Dundas,
Through horizontal scrub they bored,
And quaking black morass.
Old Bischoff saw their camp-fires pass,
Mount Lyell saw them grow;
Tramping through the button-grass. …
Forty years ago!

The bleak winds flayed them as they strode,
The black frosts bit them sore,
But still The Road, The Open Road
Went singing on before;
And with them went a lightsome lass,
Adventure, face aglow,
Tramping through the button-grass. …
Forty years ago!

Where red their leaping camp-fires roared
To forest legions thinned,
The Axe flung, like a levin sword,
Her challenge down the wind.
They slew the pine and sassafras,
The myrtle host laid low,
Tramping through the button-grass. …
Forty years ago!




  ― 100 ―
From out their dreams the cities rose
As yet from hill-heads gray
The first red flush of morning grows
Into the lord of day.
So here's to them! fill high the glass!
“The West Coast Esquimaux”
Tramping through the button-grass. …
Forty years ago!

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