Comrades [poem by E. J. Brady]

[Editor: This poem by E. J. Brady was published in Bells and Hobbles (1911).]


Comrade mine, beyond the Shadow,
Lies our Land of Eldorado,
Lies our Aidenn fair and free;
All the wide Australia’s glory,
All her nature-song and story,
Shall belong to you and me.

Gypsy twain, across the Ranges
We shall see the silent changes
Of the sunshine and the shade;
We shall hear the songs, enthralling,
Of the bush-birds softly calling
From the leafy ever-glade.

With the roads, the roads, before us,
With our blue skies burning o’er us,
When the clover’s wet with dew,
We will share unending pleasure
Of the Morning, and her treasure
Shall be free to me and you.

Oh, the plains, the plains, are ours, lad,
All their herbage bright with flow’rs, lad,
Waving in the sunlit West,
As our camp-fire’s smoke, uplifted
In the gloaming cool, is drifted.
Over lazy lands of Rest.

And our troubled souls, and saddened,
Shall be upward borne and gladdened
By a music of the sea,
Where — on moonlit beaches gleaming
Under restless tides instreaming —
Gypsy twain we wander free.

Ours the Northern jungle’s greenness,
Ours a cool Monaro’s keenness,
Ours a rolling Riverine;
And the golden wheat-lands glowing,
And the hill creeks seaward flowing
From their Gippsland ranges green.

Gypsy twain, the World uncaring,
Ours the World shall be for sharing;
And the Bushland wide and free,
From Cape York unto the Leeuwin,
Shall be ours to dare and do in,
Shall belong to you and me.

E. J. Brady, Bells and Hobbles, Melbourne: George Robertson & Co., 1911, pp. 165-166

Editor’s notes:
Aidenn = Eden (the Garden of Eden, from the Bible); paradise

Cape York = Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, the northern-most point of the Australian mainland

Eldorado = El Dorado: (Spanish) “the gilded one”; a place of abundant wealth (especially of gold) or great opportunity; as a place, this was originally a reference to a wealthy gold-laden land or city that was believed to be located somewhere in South America, but the term has since been used to refer to any place of real or imagined wealth or opportunity (“the gilded one”, i.e. someone covered in gold, was originally a reference to a South American tribal chief who, as an initiation rite, covered himself with gold dust and dove into a lake)

flow’r = (vernacular) flower

Gippsland = a region of south-eastern Victoria, which encompasses Bairnsdale, Drouin, Lakes Entrance, Leongatha, Mallacoota, Moe, Morwell, Omeo, Sale, Seaspray, the Strzelecki Ranges, Traralgon, Walhalla, Warragul, Wilsons Promontory, Wonthaggi, and Yarram; the region was named after George Gipps (1790-1847), who was Governor of New South Wales (1838-1846)

herbage = plants in general; nonwoody vegetation; herbaceous vegetation (plants with soft stems, including grass); vegetation grazed by animals (pasturage)

Leeuwin = Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia, the most south-westerly point of the Australian mainland

Monaro = a region in the south of New South Wales

o’er = (archaic) over (pronounced the same as “oar”, “or”, and “ore”)

Riverine = the Riverina: a region of south-western New South Wales, which encompasses the Murrumbidgee River, Coolamon, Cootamundra, Deniliquin, Finley, Griffith, Gundagai, Jerilderie, Junee, Leeton, Narrandera, Temora, Tocumwal, Wagga Wagga, and West Wyalong

twain = (archaic) two (from the Old English word “twegen”, meaning “two”); especially known for the phrase “never the twain shall meet” (from the line “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet”, as used by the poet Rudyard Kipling, at the start of the poem “The Ballad of East and West”, which was included in Barrack-room Ballads and Other Verses, 1892)

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