Scraps from a Bushman’s Note Book [poem, 22 January 1844]

[Editor: A poem published in the Geelong Advertiser, 22 January 1844.]

Scraps from a Bushman’s Note Book.

Port Phillip! land of many wonders;
Land of lightning; land of thunders,
Land of various reptiles evil;
Land of heat would scorch the devil;
Land of every savage vice;
Land of Christian avarice;
Land of emus, kangaroos;
Land of parrots, cockatoos;
Land of pelicans, black swans;
Land of possums and tuans;
Land of bandicoots, wild cats;
Land of Platipusses, rabbit rats,
Land of march flies and mosquitos;
Land of pumpkins and tomatoes;
Land whose various winged tribes
Are yet unsung by learned scribes;
Land of gloomy desolation;
Land of reckless dissipation;
Land of damper, tea, and mutton,
Enough to satiate a glutton;
On damper, mutton, and bohea,
Poor bushmen fare three times a day.
Land of murderers, burglars, robbers;
Pickpockets, lawyers, and landjobbers.
From every turn my fate directs,
I feel the gloomiest effects —
By day by hosts of flies invaded,
At night by wild dogs serenaded.

Geelong Advertiser (Geelong, Vic.), 22 January 1844, page 4

Editor’s notes:
bohea = Chinese black tea; in later times the name referred to an inferior grade of tea grown late in the season

landjobber = (or “land-jobber”) someone who buys and sells land; a land speculator; may particularly refer to someone who makes excessive profits from land speculation (a “land shark”)

rabbit rats = a type of rat, native to Australia, New Guinea, and Melville Island, belonging to the genus Conilurus in the order Rodentia

tuan = (an Aboriginal word) the brush-tailed phascogale (also known as the common wambenger or the black-tailed phascogale), is a rat-sized carnivorous marsupial which lives in trees, native to Australia, belonging to the genus Phascogale in the family Dasyuridae

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