Newcastle [poem by Etienne, 6 January 1864]

[Editor: A poem published in The Newcastle Chronicle and Hunter River News, 6 January 1864.]


Lines suggested by a View of the City from the Hill.

The upturned peaks of yonder hills
Loom proudly o’er the expanse of sea,
Yon rocky shoal the landscape fills,
Majestic, boundless, wild, and free.
The lighthouse on the time-worn rock,
The ancient prison on the sand,
The foaming breakers, as each shock
Wakes the dull echo of the land,
Makes up a scene both strange and grand.

Old Hunter’s calm and sluggish tide
Bears many vessels on its breast:
See the throng’d wharves, where, side by side,
Steamers, brigs, ships, and schooners, rest;
Whilst the huge cranes unloading, bend,
With skips brought hither by the train,
From Lambton, Minmi, and Wallsend:
Mark how the mighty boxes strain
The sinews of their well-forged chain.

What boundless source of wealth is found
In our stupendous seams of coal;
Mile succeeds mile of fertile ground,
And still we cannot grasp the whole.
Commerce and trade here raise their shrine,
And scatter blessings as of yore,
So may the lab’rers at each mine
Know Strikes and misery no more.

Awake, Newcastle! there shall be
A brighter day than ere has been;
A better time shall dawn for thee,
Unclouded, peaceful, and serene.
No discord, then, will e’er be found,
And all our strife and envy cease,
Whilst happiness, here, laurel crowned,
Reposes in the arms of peace.

Newcastle, Jan. 1st.

The Newcastle Chronicle and Hunter River News (Newcastle, NSW), 6 January 1864, p. 4

Editor’s notes:
e’er = ever

ere = before (from the Middle English “er”, itself from the Old English “aer”, meaning early or soon)

Hunter = Hunter River (New South Wales)

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

shoal = an area or place where a body of water is shallow (such as a shallow spot in a river or at a sea shore); a sandbank or sandbar in a body of water, which makes the water shallow, especially one that is exposed above the surface of the water (such as at low tide) (may also refer to: a school of fish, a large number of fish; a large number of people or animals)

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