The Poetry Corner


By Banjo Paterson (Andrew Barton)

[Mr. Jordan was sent to England by the Queensland Government in 1858, 1859, and 1860 to lecture on the advantages of immigration, and told the most extraordinary tales about the place.] (Air: Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.) Now Jordans land of promise is the burden of my song. Perhaps youve heard him lecture, and blow about it strong; To hear him talk youd think it was a heaven upon earth, But listen and Ill tell you now the plain unvarnished truth. Here mutton, beef, and damper are all youll get to eat, From Monday morn till Sunday night, all through the blessed week. And should the flour bag run short, then mutton, beef, and tea Will be your lot, and whether or not, twill have to do, youll see. Here snakes and all vile reptiles crawl around you as you walk, But these you never hear about in Mr. Jordans talk; Mosquitoes, too, and sandflies, they will tease you all the night, And until you get quite colonised youll be a pretty sight. Here are boundless plains where it seldom rains, and youll maybe die of thirst; But should you so dispose your bones, youll scarcely be the first, For theres many a strong and stalwart man come out to make his pile, Who never leaves the fatal shore of this thrice accursed isle. To sum it up in few short words, the place is only fit For those who were sent out here, for from this they cannot flit. But any other men who come a living here to try, Will vegetate a little while and then lie down and die.