Burke & Wills Web
The online digital research archive of expedition records
© 2020

by M Davis

Evelyn Observer and Bourke East Record
Kangaroo Ground, Victoria.
Friday, 22 April 1904, page 5.

Far in the untrod wilderness,
Upheld by firm endeavour,
Alone with nature's awfulness,
They passed from earth for ever.

No throbbing hearts around their bed,
Low on the parched earth lying,
The crested pigeon flew o'er head
Unmindful of the dying.

They went in proud undaunted mood
Earth's meaner spirits shaming
To plant their feet where none had stood,
The desert wilds reclaiming.

Bold pioneers! The unknown land,
Perils and dangers braving,
Till given a tomb by friendly hand,
Which came too late for saving.

How oft upon the light winged breeze,
Their fancy heard half doubting,
A welcome step among the trees,
The voice of human shouting.

How often to the distance lent,
In wavy undulation,
Objects like rescue came and went,
And mocked their expectation.

Weep not. Their mournful passing fame
Rejects the fruitless weeping,
And hath each proud heroic name
In her immortal keeping.

Peace to the brave. Yet hearts shall swell
To mark the touching story
How in the wilderness they fell,
How died the heirs of glory.

With roots the dark-skinned native race,
The wand'rers sought to cherish;
The generous savage lost their trace
And-left by all-they perish.

Peace to the brave, in honour's cause
Where'er in death repose,
Whose conduct still through envy's flaws
The lines of light disclose.

The fervid Austral sun by day
Lit up their path with splendour.
And night with glitt'ring starry ray,
So solemn sweet and tender.

www.burkeandwills.net.au Burke & Wills Web The digital research archive of expedition records
© 2020, Dave Phoenix