Poem by Miner, Early Gympie Goldfields, 1868

poemPublished in ‘The Nashville Times and Mary River Mining Gazette” on Wednesday, 26 February 1868, was a letter to the editor with poem:

Sir, – Having observed no variety in the continual praise and adoration accorded by the southern press to the Goddess Gympie, and believing from my own experience that she can occasionally frown as well as smile, I send you for publication a few verses, embodying my feelings and thoughts during the four or five weeks that I have been a votary at her shrine. I am sure these lines possess no literary or poetic merit, and have been penned more to pass away an idle hour than for any real meaning. Whether the picture during the past rainy week is a true and faithful one, your readers will judge. – I remain, Sir &c., MINER.

Your narrow street and verdant mud,
I must admire young Gympie,
While eyebrow deep I wade your flood,
To reach my fire-quenched humpy.

At last I find the wretched spot,
In darkness gloom and rain,
A dreary, homeless, lonely cot,
Pitched somewhere on the plain.

No hope of sleep, in dripping clothes,
I lay me down to mourn,
And think in heartfelt grief of those
Who’d welcome my return.

It is but seldom thus I think,
Of my old friends at home,
But drown my sorrows in a drink,
And ever friendless roam.

My wayward fortune brought me here,
In damp and cold to suffer,
The mud and slush up to my ear,
And each hole I sink a duffer.

What wretched spot to build a town,
And then to call it Nashville,
When on the flat it was laid down,
Its name was plainly Slushville.

The hills around are high and dry,
The township in a gully,
That can’t be seen by human eye,
Till you come upon it fully.

May the Fates in mercy take me
Gympie from thy mud and puff,
Or if my stars don’t all forsake me,
Send, oh soon, some golden stuff.