by J.A., of Balakava, Victoria
13 February 1886
"The removal of the Burke and Wills Monument is being rapidly proceeded with" - Melbourne Age.
Well, Wills, it has come as I thought it would -
the day when we must "move on".
We are cumberers now of the useful earth, and the flat goes forth. "Begone !"
I had thought in the earlier days we held a right to this land, in fee,
But Time, in his ceaseless onward march, cares little for you and me;
Yet not ours is it now to make complaint or lament that we needs must go,
Though 'twere kind, methinks, to have left us here for the sake of that long ago
When we fell on the parched and burning ground, and despaoring anf hopeless died,
Giving lofe, our all for Australia's cause in our march o'er her deserts wide
We are here where they placed us long ago and tommorow will be elsewhere,
But our names still live in the minds of men - what need have we then to care ?
We were borne from the stone and dragged awayand hurled in the silent sea,
Still our names are 'greved on the people's hearts, our place is in memory.
Aye, Captain, you speak in a hasty mood, your's ne'er was the calmest mind:
Well, we gave our lives for the country's good, in those days long left behind,
Should we now complain that the giant strides of advancement move us on ?
Let us murmur not ingratitude, nor think of the bygone past,
We died, what matter ? Sure, death must come to us, every one, first or last;
In the peoles hearts we still have our place, let them move us where they may,
Our motto in lfe was "Onward still", and in death shall we bar the way ?
Let us go, we shall ne'er awaken more - gaze again on the scene we love,
A patriot's spirit untroubled is when 'tis Progress bids him move.
We are moving at the summons of the mighty monarch, Time,
Who with gentlest hand is noting down the annals of your clime;
You have 'waked us from our slumbers once again to gaze upon
The land for which we perished, and which bids us now "move on";
And our spirits still rejoicing at its wealth - its dearth of ills -
Murmur still, Advance Australia, and remember Burke and Wills.