September 4, 2006

The Old Australian Ways

US Navy photo by PH1 Bruce McVicar

PREBLE and JOHN PAUL JONES visit Portland, Oregon (Jun 10, 2006)

AEGIS Arleigh Burke class Guided missile destroyers USS John Paul Jones (DG 53) and USS Preble (DDG 88) moored in Portland for the 99th Rose Festival.

I am proud to say thatI helped build these ships when I worked at the AEGIS Program Office in the 1990's.

The London lights are far abeam
Behind a bank of cloud,
Along the shore the gaslights gleam,
The gale is piping loud;
And down the Channel, groping blind,
We drive her through the haze
Towards the land we left behind --
The good old land of `never mind',
And old Australian ways.

The narrow ways of English folk
Are not for such as we;
They bear the long-accustomed yoke
Of staid conservancy:
But all our roads are new and strange,
And through our blood there runs
The vagabonding love of change
That drove us westward of the range
And westward of the suns.
So throw the weary pen aside
And let the papers rest,
For we must saddle up and ride
Towards the blue hill's breast;
And we must travel far and fast
Across their rugged maze,
To find the Spring of Youth at last,
And call back from the buried past
The old Australian ways.

When Clancy took the drover's track
In years of long ago,
He drifted to the outer back
Beyond the Overflow;
By rolling plain and rocky shelf,
With stockwhip in his hand,
He reached at last, oh lucky elf,
The Town of Come-and-help-yourself
In Rough-and-ready Land.

And if it be that you would know
The tracks he used to ride,
Then you must saddle up and go
Beyond the Queensland side --
Beyond the reach of rule or law,
To ride the long day through,
In Nature's homestead -- filled with awe
You then might see what Clancy saw
And know what Clancy knew.
—A.B. "Banjo" Paterson, excerpted from THE OLD AUSTRALIAN WAYS

Source: A.B. Paterson: Selected Poems published 1992 by Angus & Robertson Book ISBN 0-207-1726-4
See the online version at THE OLD AUSTRALIAN WAYS

Posted by niganit at September 4, 2006 7:48 PM
More like this: Famous People | Motivating | Poetry


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