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

Melbourne Punch

7 November 1861.

The black man bow'd his head and wept,
Above the hero's grave,
Who, for a noble end achiv'd,
His life a forfeit gave;

The desert cross'd, the problem solved,
And rent aside the veil,
Which other daring hands essayed,
To lift without avail.

Brave heart, too early still'd by death,
Victor, but victim too,
The deed fulfill'd an earnest of,
The geater thou mightst do,

Had life attain'd its utmost span,
And thou return'd to reap,
The honors which fall vainly on
Thee, in thy dreamless sleep.

What can we give thee now but tears?
how dignify thy name?
The cypress wioth the laurel blends
Dark'ning thy meed of fame.

But greenly in our memories
Shall live the names of Burke,
And brave yopung Wills, who perish'd but,
Completed their great work;

The younget still by dreadful thoughts
Upheld while life remain'd;
By courage, constancy and hope
To his last hour sustain'd.

And honor be to him who heard
His leader's dying moan'
Composed his limbs in their last rest,
And then went forth alone.

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