The Poetry Corner

The Lost Leichhardt

By Banjo Paterson (Andrew Barton)

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 travelers 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.