The Digger's Song

Original Text: 
Where the Dead Men Lie and Other Poems, ed. A.G. Stephens (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1897): 52. Internet Archive. Sydney Electronic Text and Image Service (SETIS), digital text sponsored by AustLit:
1Scrape the bottom of the hole: gather up the stuff!
3Just another shovelful and that'll be enough--
4    Now we'll take it to the bank and see what we can find ...
5        Give the dish a twirl around!
6        Let the water swirl around!
7Gently let it circulate--there's music in the swish
8        And the tinkle of the gravel,
9        As the pebbles quickly travel
10Around in merry circles on the bottom of the dish.
11Ah, if man could wash his life--if he only could!
12    Panning off the evil deeds, keeping but the good:
13What a mighty lot of diggers' dishes would be sold!
15        Give the dish a twirl around!
16        Let the water swirl around!
17Man's the sport of circumstance however he may wish:
18        Fortune! are you there now?
19        Answer to my prayer now--
20Drop a half-ounce nugget in the bottom of the dish.
21Gently let the water lap! Keep the corners dry!
22    That's about the place the gold will generally stay.
23What was that bright particle that just then caught my eye?
24    I fear me by the look of things 'twas only yellow clay ...
25        Just another twirl around!
26        Let the water swirl around!
27That's the way we rob the river of its golden fish ...
28        What's that? ... Can't we snare a one?
29        Don't say that there's ne'er a one! ...
30Bah! there's not a colour in the bottom of the dish!


2] Fossick: search for gold or other precious minerals, especially by reworking waste piles, abandoned mine workings, and rivers; to rummage or search around. Back to Line
14] tailings: residue after removing the ore. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
The Bulletin, October 31, 1891.
RPO poem Editors: 
Cameron La Follette
RPO Edition: