The Lost Leichhardt

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The Lost Leichhardt  (1899) 
by Banjo Paterson

Another search for Leichhard's tomb,
Though fifty years have fled
Since Leichhardt vanished in the gloom,
Our one Illustrious Dead!

But daring men from Britain's shore,
The fearless bulldog breed,
Renew the fearful task once more,
Determined to succeed.

Rash men, that know not what they seek,
Will find their courage tried.
For things have changed on Cooper's Creek
Since Ludwig Leichhardt died.

Along where Leichhardt journeyed slow
And toiled and starved in vain;
These rash excursionists must go
Per Queensland railway train.

Out on those deserts lone and drear
The fierce Australian black
Will say -- "You show it pint o' beer,
It show you Leichhardt track!"

And loud from every squatter's door
Each pioneering swell
Will hear the wild pianos roar
The strains of "Daisy Bell".

The watchers in those forests vast
Will see, at fall of night,
Commercial travellers bounding past
And darting out of sight.

About their path a fearful fate
Will hover always near.
A dreadful scourge that lies in wait --
The Longreach Horehound Beer!

And then, to crown this tale of guilt,
They'll find some scurvy knave,
Regardless of their quest, has built
A pub on Leichhardt's grave!

Ah, yes! Those British pioneers
Had best at home abide,
For things have changed in fifty years
Since Ludwig Leichhardt died.

This work is is in the public domain because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council (ACC), (Duration of Copyright) (February 2012).