Queensland [poem by Philip Durham Lorimer]

[Editor: This poem by Philip Durham Lorimer was published in Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, 1901. This poem is listed separately in the contents of the book, although it appears within the biographical section, from which the following text has been extracted.]


Queensland ! thou art a land of pest :
From flies and fleas we ne’er can rest,
E’en now mosquitoes round me revel ;
In fact they are the very devil.
Sand flies and hornets just as bad,
They nearly drive a fellow mad.
The scorpion and the centipede,
And stinging ants of every breed,
Iguanas, lizards, and poisonous snakes,
Deadly fever with the shakes,
Bandicoots and thieving rats,
Bears, opossums, and native cats,
Wallabies and kangaroos,
Native dogs and cockatoos,
Barcoo spew, rot, and sandy blight.
Dingoes howling all the night,
As well as hosts of croaking frogs,
Curlews, quails and yelling dogs.
Carpentaria alligators and crocodile
Cause one to fear, dispel a smile :
Kanakas, Chinese, and murderous Blacks,
Frightful roads and outlandish tracks,
Spinifex and desert sandy,
Horrid rum and wretched brandy,
Bad tobacco and ad valorem,
These troubles — who could e’er get o’er ’em ?”

E. A. Petherick (editor). Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, William Clowes and Sons, London, 1901, pages 19-20

Editor’s notes:
ad valorem = (Latin) “according to the value”; commonly used for a tax imposed on property or goods as a percentage of the value of the item

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