Van Dieman's Land/Van Dieman's Land
Van Dieman's Land.
Come all you gallant poachers, that ramble void of care,
That walk out on a moonlight night with your dog. gun and snare,
The hare and lofty pheasant you have at your command,
Not thinking of your last career upon Van Dieman's Land
Poor Thomas Brown from Nottingham Jack Williams and poor Joe,(
Were three poachers as the country well doth know.
At night they were trepann'd by the keepers hid in sand,
and for fourteen years transported were upon Van Dieman's Land.
The first day that we landed upon the fatal ⟨shore⟩,
The planters came around us—there might be ⟨twenty⟩ score;———
They rank'd us up like horses and sold us out of hand.
They yolk'd us to ploughs my boys, to plough Van Dieman's Land.
The cottages we live in are built with clods of clay,
and rotten straw for bedding yet we dare not say nay,
around our cots a circling fire we slumber when we can,
and drive the wolves and tigers oft upon Van Diemans land
Oftimes when I do slumber, I have a pleasant dream,
With my sweet girl sitting near me close by a purling stream;
Thro' England I've been roaming with her at my command,
and wakened broken hearted upon Van Dieman's Land.
God bless our wives and families, likewise that happy shore,
That isle of great contentment, which we may see no more;
as for our wretched families, see them we seldom can,
There's twenty men for one woman upon Van Dieman's Land.
There was a girl from Birmingham, Ann Summers was her name,
For fourteen years transported, we all well know the same:
our planter bought her freedom and married her out of hand—
She gave to us good usage upon Van Dieman's Land.
But fourteen years is a long time—that is our fatal doom,
For nothing else than poaching—God knows that's we've done :
all You would leave offdog gun, snare and poaching every man.
If you did but know the hardships upon Van Dieman's Land.
Now if I had ten thousand pounds, laid down all in my hand,
I d give it all for liberty; that I could command
Again to England I'd return, and be a happy man,
and bid adieu to poaching, and to Van Dieman's Land.