The Clarence [poem by Jack Moses]

[Editor: This is a poem from Beyond the City Gates: Australian Story & Verse (1923) by Jack Moses.]

The Clarence

[Dedicated to Len. C. Lawson]

It’s a bosker big river, the Clarence,
Have you ever been on it, my boy?
It’s bonny, it’s broad, and it’s bonzer,
It’s something to see and enjoy.

The blue hills away in the distance,
The islands, the bends, and the bays,
And the cane growing ripe in the sunlight,
And miles of green, succulent maize.

The poddy, the colt, and the filly,
All seem to be getting their fill,
And the pelican out in the current,
Is busy at work with his bill.

There’s a steamer come up from the southward,
She crossed the bar yonder at dawn,
She’s loading up pigs and potatoes,
And butter and sugar and corn.

They are swinging the axe in the timber,
There’s a log for the bullocky still
To dump in the lugger that’s hugging
The stringybark wharf at the mill.

The swim after school hours, remember,
With Billy, with Ben, and with Bert,
And the dive from the little old springboard,
And the dry with the little old shirt?

Think of the row on the water,
In the moon’s soft, silvery gleam,
And the lights on the ferryboat crossing
That glitter like gold in the stream.

When they talk of their beautiful rivers,
That are racing away to the seas,
My thoughts go back to the Clarence,
And Grafton, the City of Trees.

Jack Moses, Beyond the City Gates: Australian Story & Verse, Sydney: Austral Publishing Co., 1923, page 32 (the related photo is on an unnumbered page between pages 32 and 33)

Editor’s notes:
bonzer = (Australian slang) excellent (can also be spelt as “bonza”)

bosker = (Australian slang) excellent, very good

poddy = poddy calf, a hand-fed calf; can also refer to an unbranded calf

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