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Excerpts from Ye Wearie Wayfarer by Adam Lindsay Gordon (1833 – 1870):

Hark! the bells on distant cattle
Waft across the range,
Through the golden-tufted wattle,
Music low and strange;
Like the marriage peal of fairies
Comes the tinkling sound,
Or like chimes of sweet St. Mary’s
On far English ground.

How my courser champs the snaffle,
And with nostril spread,
Snorts and scarcely seems to ruffle
Fern leaves with his tread;
Cool and pleasant on his haunches
Blows the evening breeze,
Through the overhanging branches
Of the wattle trees:

Onward! to the Southern Ocean,
Glides the breath of Spring,
Onward, with a dreamy motion,
I, too, glide and sing–
Forward! forward! still we wander–
Tinted hills that lie
In the red horizon yonder–
Is the goal so nigh?

Whisper, spring-wind, softly singing,
Whisper in my ear;
Respite and nepenthe bringing,
Can the goal be near?
Laden with the dew of vespers,
From the fragrant sky,
In my ear the wind that whispers
Seems to make reply–

‘Question not, but live and labour
Till yon goal be won,
Helping every feeble neighbour,
Seeking help from none;
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
KINDNESS in another’s trouble,
COURAGE in your own.’

Courage, comrades, this is certain,
All is for the best–
There are lights behind the curtain–
Gentles let us rest.
As the smoke-rack veers to seaward
From ‘the ancient clay’,
With its moral drifting leeward,
Ends the wanderer’s lay.

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