Port Lincoln [including an Ode to Australia, 8 December 1886]

[Editor: Published in The Wallaroo Times, 8 December 1886.]

Port Lincoln.

When I last wrote I left your readers on the top of a hill counting the islands dotted about. Since then I have received sundry copies of the Wallaroo Times, and you can hardly realise the pleasure I have had. So we will come down from the mountain and generalise a bit.

The Wallaroo Times! Why should I like so much to read its columns — even to the advertisements — a thing I never did before —i.e. the latter? It is this: there is hardly a name but stands associated with some page in the history of life clearly and legibly marked out and indelibly fixed in my own memory. ’Tis there for age! No great wonder, perhaps.

Wallaroo though not liked by many is to me the dearest place in all the world. Queer as it may seem, I like the place. Of course I like the people a great deal more than the place — that goes without saying — (this is a goak, Artemas Ward,) but seriously, even to the smoke of the Smelting Works chimneys.

In one of Capt. Marryatt’s yarns (by the way he was uncle to our Archdeaeon of that name) he mentions the circumstance of a homeward bound frigate just entering the channel after a three years’ cruise in the West Indies. The month was November and a regular channel fog prevailed — as thick as a blanket. An old quarter-master comes on deck and opening wide his shoulders he takes in a mighty sniff — the while saying — “Ah! this is something like; none of your blue skies here!” So you see that what 19 out of every 20 regard as a nuisance (an English November fog) was regarded by the old quarter-master as a thing of endearment. Why? Because it stood associated with remembrances that were woven so closely into his heart. And so with dear old Wallaroo. May thy people always be prosperous and happy!

But a truce to this, I must bring up somewhere, and I do so by sending you my rejected “Ode,” dedicated without permission to Lottie Seeger, Doris Cloud and Vera Lambert.

Hail! Hail! All Hail! Australia’s
Happy Land,
Where freedom’s banner may for
Ever stand
Unsullied by feuds and
Slavery’s brand.
All Hail! Australia!

Nature’s rich treasures are
Unfolded here;
May all that win true
Happiness be dear,
And GOD each heart adore
With holy fear.
God save Australia!

May gentle art and sturdy
Science lend
Their kindly aid in teaching
Men to blend
Wisdom true in all, to
Secure each end.
Advance! Australia!

Let patient industry be true
To take
History’s wise lessons; that so
Shall make
Homes ever happy,
Australia’s stake.
God guard Australia!

On all God’s children may His
Blessing fall;
His blessing rest upon the
Work of all
Who humbly strive to follow
Duty’s call.
Onward, Australia!

Cordial greeting e’er to all
Be given.
Our Empress Queen, the Benison
Of heaven;
Her empire ne’er by Austral’s sons
Be riven.
God bless Australia!

The Wallaroo Times (Port Wallaroo, SA), 8 December 1886, p. 3

Editor’s notes:
Artemas Ward = pen name of the American humourist Charles Farrar Browne (1834-1867)

e’er = ever

goak = a deliberate misspelling of “joke”, believed to have been first used by the American humourist Artemas Ward

[Editor: Corrected “Natures” to “Nature’s”.]
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]

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