A Queensland Ballad

Year: 1870
                     By George Vowles 
[The origin of this ballad is this: A Scottish
gentleman, who had resided in Australia for many
years, revisited his native land. He took with
him a native of that continent. After a lengthened
absence he returned, bringing with him his sable
friend, who by this time could speak the Gælic
language as well as a native of the "land o'
cakes.'' Scarcely had he landed, when he cast
aside his garments, I suppose as impedimenta, and
fled to the nearest aboriginal camp, preferring, as
he said, the life of his fathers to all the delight
derived from the society and the elegant refinement of the white men.]
Alone 'mid Scotia's[1] rugged hills
A sable chieftain stood,
Below were seen descending rills—
On every side a wood.
Loch Katrine[2] caught his beaming eye
Its beauties thence beheld:
With eagles screaming in the sky,
His panting bosom swelled.
Yet other scenes arose in sight,
Across the ocean ta'en—
Australian rivers brought in flight
To glad his heart again.
The Bremer in its golden course,
The Brisbane in its pride,
Career along with a pleasing song
To the music of the tide.
Their murmurs strike his listening ear,
Recall the moments fled—
Before his sight once more appear
The long forgotten dead.
The verdant hills by Bremer's stream
Awake his passions wild;
He stands again where fig trees gleam,
Where he had trod a child.
A tear coursed down his manly face—
His spirit yet was free,
And, rushing from that lonely place,
He sought the stormy sea.
By chance he found a vessel there,
For his green island bound—
Its pennons[3] floating in the air,
And music's lively sound.
He reached its deck, and, oceans past,
His native land he sees
Arising through the howling blast,
As perfume on a breeze.
'Ere Phœbus[4] gilt the western sphere
He trod the well loved strand—
Before his eyes all he holds dear,
His smiling native land.
He stays not for the city's din,
He waits no welcome gaze-
His thoughts are with his constant gin,
In Flinder’s [sic] devious ways.
He seeks the hills and paths alone,
Where emus gaily sport;
The hills that once he called his own,
Where he had held his court.
When haunts of men were no more seen,
When wildness met his sight,
Of clothes divested through the sheen
He wandered day and night.
Nor rested he till to his heart
His lubra dear he prest—
"No more," he said, "will I depart
From her whom I love best."
[1] A Latin place name for Scotland, actually the homeland of the Gaels.
[2] A Loch in Perthshire, Scotland.
[3] Swallow tailed flag
[4] The Greek God of Light