A Song of Gold [poem by Dora Wilcox]

[Editor: This poem by Dora Wilcox was published in The Bulletin Reciter, 1901.]

A Song of Gold.

Oh, there’s great exhilaration in the bosoms of the boys
Who are sailing for the goldfields in the West ;
Though the dear old days are dead, there ’s a roaring time ahead,
And the bonny birds are flying from the nest.
Let the old folk bide alone, for the whole wide world ’s your own,
And there ’s yellow gold in plenty in the West !
For it ’s gold ! bright gold !
And it ’s yours to handle, to have, and to hold !
Will you sell your homes, as they have been sold,
For the bright, hard gold ?

Oh, there ’s grief and tribulation for the mothers of the boys.
For the sisters and the sweethearts left behind.
Ah, the good old time is dead ! Ah, the weary wait instead !
But the ship is scudding on before the wind ;
And it ’s well for those who go to the gay new life, you know,
But it’s cruel hard for those who stay behind !
But it ’s gold ! bright gold !
And it ’s yours to handle, to have, and to hold !
Will you sell your hearts, as they have been sold.
For the bright, hard gold ?

Ah, there ’s mighty jubilation in the hearts of all the boys
Who are drinking in the grog-shops of the town ;
And the gas flares overhead till the wild carouse is sped
And the jolly boys have knocked their last sovs. down:
What with billiards, dice, and gin, you can make the gold-boys spin,
When you leave the blessed diggings for the town.
And it ’s gold ! bright gold !
And it ’s yours to handle, to have, and to hold !
Will you sell your souls as they have been sold,
For the bright, hard gold ?

Oh, there ’s strange inanimation on the faces of the boys
Who went gaily to the gold-fields long ago :
Though the parched earth is their bed, very quiet are the dead,
Very peaceful are the sleepers lying low.
They are scattered here and there, does it matter why or where,
When their mothers’ hearts were broken long ago ?
It was gold ! bright gold !
It was theirs to handle, to have, and to hold !
Did they sell their lives, as they have been sold,
For the bright, hard gold ?

Dora Wilcox.



Source:
A.G. Stephens (editor). The Bulletin Reciter: A Collection of Verses for Recitation from “The Bulletin” [1880-1901], The Bulletin Newspaper Company, Sydney, 1902 [first published 1901], pages 68-70

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