Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian bush poems



The wind is blowing up the Pass,

A west wind dry and fine,

All resinous and honey-sweet

With blossom of the pine,

And fragrance out of orchard lands,

And scent of fruited briars,

That once were English roses

Round the homesteads of our sires.

The cars are rolling down the Pass---

The road that Mitchell made---

Where runs the writing on the wall,

Where stood the old stockade;

By Hartley, up the three-mile hill,

The low-geared traffic wends---

The winding road, the western Road,

The Road of Forty Bends.

Road, bear me to a little house

Where I may lie at ease,

And smell the odorous cedar boughs

Light-swinging in the breeze;

The breeze that makes the windmills clink

Beside the western dams;

The breeze that shakes the noonday doze

With cries of weaning lambs.

There let me dream the oldtime teams

Still bear their freight away---

The wheat of Burrundulla farms,

The wool of Castlereagh;

Rich coaches in from Lambing Flat,

New gold from Talbragar---

Then waking, on some hill's curve hear

The hot brakes grind and jar,

To tell me of a towering load

In forward hurry presses,

The wealth of long and league-wide runs

New-freighted from the West:

Of sheds cut out, of wool away,

Good tidings may there be,

Where night and day and Golden Fleece

Rolls eastward to the sea.


Ella McFadyen

Note:  Road of Forty Bends:  the name given by motor-men to the stretch of read between the top of the Pass at Mt Victoria and the old toll house near Bowenfels. "Writing on the wall" is a rough inscription on the rocks at the Pass, recording the escape of a convict from the road-gang. 

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