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by W. G.

The Courier
Monday, 27 January 1862, p. 4.

It's come now all attention I pray boath young and oald,
The fate of the Explorers I mean for to unfold,
'Twas of a little band of men from Melbourne did start.
With Joy in every countenance, and buoyant was each heart.
It was no plersant prospect the task they undertook,
Leaving home and dearest friends with one fond parting look,
To cross the land from sea to sea it was there whole intent,

With steady perseverance they cheer'd each other on,
Thro' bush and stoney deserts in a hot and burning sun,
It's toiling on boath day, and through bush and tangled brier,
O'er rocks and trackless ranges, thro' swamps an mud and mire.
With weary feat, but firm hearts, the cry was onward, on,
Not thinking of returning until the prize was won.
O what must have been there pleasure when getting their at last,
And resolved on returning to cross the dreary wast.

With courage still undaunted, they pushed on boath one and all,
Till from fatigue and hardships poor Gray the first did fall:
With weary limbs and sadent hearts the trio marched along,
Alas they were not fated to wear the laurels they had an dearly won.
What must have been their feelings when they reach'd the starting plane,
And found they were forsaken, and nothing but starvation to stare them in the face.
With courage still undaunted they pushed on through heat and coald,
Did the faithful King and Wills, with Burke the leader boald.

Who can paint the misery the three did undergo,
When forced for to return back, their's One above does no:
Hard must have been the hardships from hunger. heat, and coald
Before death laid low brave Wills and his gallant leader boald.
Then King alone on Cooper's Creek with blacks roamed up and down,
And by them he was preserved till by Howitt's party found;
It's a cheer for noble King, and a blissing on the natives that so friendly did behave,
And a tear for gallant heroes, that fill the silent grave.

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