Poems by A W Eustace


Courteous reader, whose’er you are,
That scan this work with scrutinizing eye;
Remember please, that erudition far
Away, in sulky silence pass’d me bye,
No critic therefore need his time apply,
For I was born and reared, where wealth was nil,
Yet oft my muse would come and bid me try,
To climb a little up the sacred hill;

My lyre is mute compared to ancient bards
Who basked beneath this soul-inspiring ray;
So if my lyre dont raise such pleasant chords,
I care but little what my critics say;
In this small book the simple numbers lay,
Of verse, in rhyme, that dropped from my distill,
Read careful through, and then I humbly pray,
You’ll give your verdict, be it what you will.

(Signed) A. Wm. Eustace.

Written on the Sea, 1851.

A sailor I would never be
In any ship upon the sea,
The Constance, or the Ballangeich(The vessel we came in)
I’d rather not
No pleasure here alas for me,
In this drear spot;

To loose so long one’s liberty,
Is woefull sad indeed to me,
And not a blade of grass, or tree,
To greet my sight,
Nought but a reckless, foaming sea,
Is maddening quite;

O for a life upon the land,
Among my little kindred band,
Where flowerets bloom supremely grand,
Around my lot,
The rose, the honeysuckle, and,

And there, to hear at close of day,
The blackbird’s sweet melodious lay,
Just when the sun’s departing ray,
Skirts the rich grove,
When softly round the zephyrs play,
In gentle love;

In dead of night, sweet philomel,
Begins her most enchanting tale,
In the green hedgerows of the vale,
Malodious strain;
Enough the sorrowing heart to heal,
Of all its pain;

Alas! I’ve lost that happy scene,
My beauteous home, and spangled green,
Seven thousand miles lay stretched between,
Me and my home;
Yet memory paints that lovely scene,
The sweetest tone;

Yea every feature, every tree,
The thickly flower-bespangled lee,
I seem, as when at home to see
The happy spot,
Where nature in sweet harmony,
Reign round my lot;

Then fare thee well my darling home,
No more about thee I shall roam,
For fate, alas hath fixed my doom,
Forget thee? Never,
My last adieu call forth a groan,
Farewell for ever.

Opening of The Railroad to Chiltern and Wodonga 1873

The rail, the rail, the longest line
In all Victoria’s sunny clime,
Through districts many, town-ships fine,
No line is longer,
And now the looked for gala day,
Is closed which opened up the way,
From our Metrop’lis near the sea,
Right to Wogonga;

November nineteenth, seventy three,
Was fair, and bright, as bright could be,
All hearts beat light with jollity,
On that grand souvenir
Each one put on their Sunday clothes,
With Rimmel duish’d, to please the nose,
In self complacency repose,
To hail the Gov’ner;

The lasses sported all their best,
Some wives were like a duchess dress’t,
Beauty, a well, we’ll let that rest,
Just for the present,
The glittering trinkets amply told,
(If all that glitters, must be gold),
In demonstrative language bold,
Time’s convalescent;

Our aristocracy were there,
The gentlemen who deal in ware,
Who business give them ample fare,
Eye demonstration;
Their towering brimmer’s, silky fir’d
Show like the jetty Satin bird,
And altogeather they appeared,
Lord’s of creation;

Our Counsel men who doth aspire,
To legislate, within the Shire,
With jurisprudence some admire,
Our town’s exemplers’
Turned out to show the Melbournite,
That Chiltern folks are quite polite,
A mixture of the rechabite,
And constant tipplers;

We met our friends from distant parts,
And shook hands of kindly hearts,
To hear the news of divers sorts,
Quite interesting;
Talked of the crops, the copious rain,
And criticised the swell, and swain,
Some dignified with ring and chain,
Vain pride, investing;

And some we saw amoung the rest,
With massive chain across the breast,
Dipp’d not as usual in the vest,
Shade of Croesus;
Right o’er the coat the metal shoe,
On black it sparkled in the sun,
Admired I think by only one,
Eye-food delicious;

O gold, thou holds a mighty spell,
To rouse the pride that in us dwell,
How seldom home, and outings tell,
One simple story;
Let honest pride our actions prop,
But more than this make fool or fop,
And here my sarcasm must drop,
Least I should worry;

And now must cease just for a while,
For criticising man and stile,
And let some milder thoughts beguile,
Nor be censorious;
A word to those by pride that’s led,
Just hear what learned folks have said,
‘Tis malformation of the head,
Poor brain uproarious;

Now ye who lifts your head so high,
Go see the wheat, the oats, or rye,
That ripen neath the summer sky,
Just mark a minute;
Full ears, doth bed from weight of gran,
And humble look like men of brain,
While those that stretch their head amain,
Have nothing in it;

O what a blessing it would be
Could each detect there vanity,
“And see themselves as other see”
O grand discovery;
We’d lay our folly all aside,
The thing that has our life belied,
I mean that vain cock-turkey pride,
That feeds our poverty;

And here my present rymings end,
Just ponder well what I have pen’d,
I’m never wishing to offend,
E’en the unruly;
A right farewell to friend, or foe,
At home, abroad, where e’er I go,
And now subscribe myself below,
Dear friend’s yours truly;

Our Central City, Feb 20 1891

Our central City charming place,
Blest with a brauny Saxon race,
And many a blooming maiden fair
Little flowers of spring
Whose charms may still the trouble breast,
And sooth our passion all to rest,
Such comforts bring;

But I must stay my pen awhile,
Least ladies should not like the stile,
In younger days they did beguile,
My youthful heart,
My time has fled, and now I am,
Passed their requirements as a man,
And so we part;

Chiltern! My eulogy I’ll sing,
O! come my must libations bring,
To aid me on poetic wing,
And then I’ll soar,
Perchance I may before I’ve done,
In flights of fancy reach the sun,
Like some of yore;

New Ballarat, they maiden name,
Retrieving all thy wanted fame,
As gold once from thy bosom came,
In days of yore,
Thy leads are yielding up their gold,
To energy and labour bold,
Yea more and more;

So may’st thou prosper and yet be,
Great as the city by the sea,
But purer in morality,
First in the land,
Thy sons and daughters free and bold,
To seek and find thy hidden gold,
All hand in hand;

Our central city land of joys,
Prolific place of girls and boys,
Of houses to that oft decoys,
Poor thirsty man,
Thy bonny faces seem to be,
Men with a decent pedigree,
Since time began;

Thy cricketers, and fire brigade,
Some good improving work has made,
Within the last, say, half decade,
So may it be;
Till fame shall sound their honest praise,
And distant land the echo raise,
From sea, to sea;

Thy old identities are fled,
And laid aside among the dead,
As one of your hath truly said,
All flesh is grass,
The old and young, the rich and poor,
Stand tottering at the open door,
Waiting a pass;

And now I’ll bid thee a farewell,
I saw thee born, I see thee still,
My time is up, broke is the spell,
My pen is dry,
The heavens refuse its genial rain,
The grass and flowers are on the wane;
And so am I.

I’ll build a Study

I sit me down to read at night,
A thing I love to do,
For reading is my chief delight,
When work is laboured through;

I’ll build a study for my use,
Where I can read and think,
And court at times my gentle muse,
And dot it down with ink;

I’ll build a study free from noise,
Where I can thoughtful be,
For here among the girls and boys,
No peace there is for me;

If I begin to read a piece,
I’ve never read before,
They gabble like a flock of geese,
Till I can read no more;

When somber evening close the day,
And nature seeks her ease,
Though curlews whistle one their way,
And ‘possums climb the trees;

Reclining in my high-back’d chair,
I have my reading down,
While Missus stitches up a tear,
Or fashions out a gown;

And if the latter is the case,
She looks the journal through,
Then, cuts it out with ease and grace,
As stylish hands would do;

Then noisy Singer, lends its aid,
Because it sews so quick,
In stitching on the yard of braid,
With never tiring click;

And all this helps to fuddle me,
And drive thoughts from my head,
When I should all-devouring be,
Of news before me spread;

Perchance a damsel will drop in,
Some business to press,
And pitch a yarn, where she has been,
And bought herself a dress;

And then begins, ‘twould look full well,
If made, well, so and so,
In such a place a handsom frill,
And here a pretty bow;

This is the fashion now I think,
And so will give it ease,
And this just trim with blue or pink,
But, mind the polonaise;

I’ll build a study, yes I will,
Where I can read and write,
These noises never will be still,
From dusk till ten at night;

Just as a thought has struck my head,
As quick ‘tis scared away,
I’m bound to do the things I said,
At least another day.

The Two Sisters

Knitting along in their evening stroll,
Counting the loops on the needle that fall,
Walking, and talking, as onward they go,
Two loving sisters, and never a beau;

Were I but young, as I once used to be,
With amorous heart, both loving and free,
I’d beg for the honour to pilot the way,
And trembling wait for the yea, or the nay;

The kind law of nature we should bear in mind,
And ne’er take a walk without sex of both kind,
Of course, if no offer from loving young men,
The ladies must wander alone now and then;

If I had the power, it ne’er should be so,
I’d find for each lassie, a competent beau,
And then through the bush, they could ramble at ease,
Discoursing on love, or whatever they please;

Suppose the loose Tiger, that cause so much talk,
Should spring from a bush, when they’re out for a walk,
To think such a thing, almost curdles my blood,
Still, were I the Tiger, I fancy I should;

But not as a ravenous beast would I spring;
My true manly nature recoils at the thing,
Might hug them a little, in rapturous delight,
And kiss them a little, but never would bite;

I’d fain make an offer, if no one beside,
Will bolding come forward, to be their bush guide,
Well knowing, that feminine courage is small,
I’d guard them from evil, the Tiger and all;

Some Sunday I may, should such be their will,
We’ll take a big stroll, on top of yon hill,
When clear is the sky, and the winds are at rest,
And natures green mantle, shows off to the best;

This simple effusion, I pray you excuse,
And lay all the blame to my troublesome Muse?
She poured a libation, of which I have sip’d,
Which warmed up the subject of this M.S.

When this was written, there was a common report that an escaped Tiger was at large in the neighbourhood.

On the death of a noted drunkard

There’s no more drink for poor old Car,
No more he’l tarry at the bar,
Or totter through the street;
He’s gone where all the rest must do,
He’s passed life devious journey through,
And claimed a winding-sheet;

Once said a poet in his flight,
“What ever is, is surely right”,
If so this liquor dredge,
Who now has closed his life career,
To shun for ever grog, and beer,
And sign eternal pledge;

To nature’s law we must agree,
She stop’s the drinker in his spree,
When naught beside avail;
A power there seems to be outside,
That tempts some men to suicide,
However we may wail;

I’ve seen enough, and know full well,
E’en threats of an eternal hell,
On some have no effect;
Although they may be orthodox,
Firm as a Wesley, or a Knox,
And pay the Church respect;

Now tell me, Ye who know so much,
Before your verdict pass on such,
How came this strong desire?
Many there are, whose nature’s quail,
At thoughts of spirits, wine, or ale,
Which others so admire;

The same great cause that formed the just,
Made others who with talents trust,
But only to abuse,
Their strength of mind, completely fail,
When strong temptation’s do prevail,
And take the way they chose;

The world of men are not alike,
The earth is hill, and dale and dike,
With rough and cruel seas,
And fires that rage, and winds that tea,
And earth-quaks, rending here, and there,
And air fill’d with disease;

Must we suppose weak man to be,
Better than ear, or air, or sea,
Obeying natures laws?
We’re all within her iron grasp,
We love, or hate, we drink, or fast,
And she must be the cause;

If it be so, what shall we say,
Of man’s indulgence through his day,
And drink is his delight?
Others beside this poet see,
By true, or false, philosophy,
“What ever is, is right,”

A Letter, Black Dog Creek, August 1872

Dear Daughter Lizzie,

As I have just a hour to spare,
While Mama stitches up a tea,
Where nasty nails, to day been hitchin,
While working at our bran new kitchen;
So now I’ll tattle all the news,
For my dear-self, to mother goose,

Now to my task, I thus begin,
A dread eruption of the skin,
Has been my lot, for some time past,
And seems as though ‘twill longer last,
Small peace I get, and comfort lack,
The rash is right across my back,
Against the fence, the posts and bars,
I rub my shoulders, into scars,
It don’t look well, I must aver,
But looks won’t cure a sufferer;
Our good friend Ross, pronounced that this,
Is like to erysipelas,
I feel right through, at times uneasy,
The irritation drives me crazy,

To Dr Rohner, I applied,
To cleanse the evil from my hide,
An inside application got,
And stuff to saturate the spot;
My sad complaint to Lloyd related,
He said, my blood was over-heated,
How it got so I was not told
Strange thing, this heat in winter’s cold;
And now about old mother goose,
She’s incubating, very close,
Eight eggs she laid, but then we thought,
Was not enough, so four we bought,
Old Jos the gander’s, all attention,
Stretches his neck, and makes the hen’s run,
Gabbles a thousand time’s a day,
And keeps all living things away
Permitting not the lease excuse,
To venture near his darling goose;

Our hens, and rooster, altogether,
Are looking well in coats of feather,
They scratch’d the corn from out the shed,
And Charley wish the fowles were dead,
They laid about one dozen eggs,
Just the result of robbing nages,
For when the horse’s eat the hay,
It stopped the burden of their lay;

I now must dip my pen once more
To say that I forgot before,
To state, how Mama’s getting on,
Her pains, or symptoms, weak, or strong,
Thanks be to God, she is improving,
Rather inclined just now for roving,
Annie, and Ma, are often bound,
To Chiltern, or the neighbours round,
And he who uses no restraint,
Is left at home with his complaint,
To work, or play, the first the most,
Or rub his back against a post;

Enough dear Lizzie, I must close,
This rhyming letter I suppose,
With kindest love, my daughter dear,
I still remain yours e’er sincere;

Father A.W.Eustace

An Elegy,
On a pet Magpie;

Let tears drop now from every eye,
And every breast heave out a sigh,
With bitter lamentation cry,
For well you might;
Poor Maggie moped, in sickness pined,
We feared his little life declined,
He died at night;
We bought him to the warm hearth stone,
Nor could we see him pine alone,
But with a sympathetic moan,
And bit’s of bread,
We tried to coax him on to eat,
But O! alas, ‘twas all to late,
Poor Maggi’s dead;

We took him to his roosting place,
And hoped the cruel complaint would cease,
To find him been better and at ease
By morning light;
Alas he’d fallen to the ground,
All dead, and cold, and stiff, was found,
Died in the night;

No more he’ll watch me dig the ground,
Devouring all the worms around,
Nor pull the new-set plants he found,
In Annie’s bed;
No more he’ll stretch his neck and sing,
No more he’ll spread his clipped wing,
Poor Maggie’s dead

And now the inquest, on our bird,
With all the evidence we heard,
Some thought ‘twas poison interfered,
And caused his death;
He fell, through one of nature’s laws,
Our verdict gave, and this the cause,
For want of breath;

His transient life is passed away,
A few short months, was all his stay,
And now, all dead, and cold, he lay,
Within his bed;
So to will all like Maggie, die,
The great, the small, and you and I,
And in oblivious slumber lie;
Like Maggie dead;

Adieu to My Sister Ellen

Accept dear Nell, my warm adieu,
Since fortune bid’s us sever,
The kindred hearts that link to you,
Now wish you well for ever;

May virtue keep thee in her arms,
Descretion mark they manners,
And shield thee when temptation storms,
And be they leading banners;

My warm adieu, and fond farewell,
I bid thee perhaps for ever,
To meet again who’er can tell,
When on this earth we sever;

May fortune shine upon thy head,
May wealth bedeck thy vesture;
Be thou by truth, and virtue, led,
Good-bye, farewell, my sister;

Reflections of Old Age October 1897

Length of days doth make one weary,
As an ancient seer hath sung,
And the world’s more cold and dreary,
Than it seemed when I was young,

Youthful longings cease to trouble,
Strong desire hath ceased to be,
Hopes unstable as a bubble,
And perfections as the sea,
Will my closing days continue,
Gloomy spiritless and cold,?
Will my brain, and bone, and sinew,
Still grow weak as I grow old?

Till my fleeting days are numbered,
Till I lay lifes cares aside,
When no longer am I cumbered,
With lifes ever fretful tide.

Yes, I know the law is spoken,
I like allthings else must fade,
As the leaf when it is broken,
Withers in the sun or shade,

But its folly, thus refining,
Knowing as I surely do,
Fortunes sun’s not always shining
On the many, but the few,

Still it is my common nature,
And it seems I’m made that way
Since I first became a creature,
Oddities have held their sway,

So I make this bold confession,
It may ease an anxious soul,
There is healing in contribution,
So I’m often often told.

But a light to guide me onward
Rises peerless as the sun,
Shows me how I’ve sadly wondered,
Tells me of the joys to come,

I will to this beacon hasten,
It’s a panacea for ills,
And will all my troubles chasen,
Right beyond lifes rugged hills,

I will look where morn is breaking,
It will light me to my goal,
It alone cures all heart-acheing,
And dispondency of soul.

(Signed) A.W. Eustace October 1897


My life is drawing to its utmost limit,
A lengthened pilgrimage of up, and down,
And looking back I fear there’s nothing in it,
To warrant me in getting some renown,

I missed the goal for which I early started,
I found no friend to aid my youthful dreams,
To take me by the hand as one kind-hearted
And helps a young aspirant in his teens,

To fan the little spark of genius rising,
In my young soul so much in ardent love,
Of landscape painting, for I oft was trying,
To sketch the burly oak, and spangled grove,

But I had none, not a single lesson,
To help me on the road to glorious fame,
My little budding genius in possession,
Alas ne’er blossomed and to nothing came,

I have the vanity just now of stating,
If ready aid had come I’d not been here,
But should have had the pleasure of relating,
A happier version of my past career,

My harvest time hath fled, the summers ended
And Autumn days are swiftly passing bye,
My energy and life are near expended
And both will yield to death, for I must die,

But stay

There is no death it’s only a transition,
From this cold world to warmer realms of bliss,
And there I’ll find myself in a position,
To learn the art I was denied in this.

(Signed) A.W. Eustace

An old mans address to his Aged Wife.

When you and I were young my love,
When you and I were young,
Do you remember how we strove,
To meet just by the shady grove,
When you and I were young,

And do you remember still,
Those happy days of yore,
When Cupid threw his pointed dart,
That pierced the center of each heart
When you and I were young,

For as of old I seem to see,
The spot where oft we met,
Beneath the shady old elm tree
In youthful love and ecstasy,
Just by the wicket gate.

And surely we will ne’er forget,
That all important time,
That earnest kiss that seemed to move,
Almost an echo in the grove,
Which sealed you ever mine,

I seem to see the village Church,
Where you and I were wed,
I seem to hear your trembling voice,
Vowing obedience to your choice,
Till numbered with the dead;

And still I hear the old church bells,
Ring out our unity,
And still I feel the grip of hands,
That helped to tie the wedding bands,
Which bound your love to me;

But many many fleeting years,
Since then hath passed away,
And wrinkling time and wordy care,
Hath spoiled your once luxuriant hair,
And left me sear and gray,

(Signed) A.W. Eustace

Verses from ‘To an Absent One’

Now my days are nearly ended,
I will see thee yet again,
When the law of life’s suspended,
And I breathe my last refrain;

Then we’ll meet again my dearest,
When the fatal stoke shall come,
Then I’ll join thee dearest nearest,
In our future happy home.


Alas what a world we live in
A compound of sorrow and mirth
A mixture of hell and of heaven
Prescribed for each one at his birth.

To my dear children -- May 1905

O do not mourn or shed a tear,
Or breathe a solemn sigh,
When fate shall stay my life’s careet,
And I lie down and die;

Fond nature bids the tear to flow,
The depth of anguish tell,
But we shall meet again I know,
Praise God, for all is well.

Alas what a world we live in

A compound of sorrow and mirth

A mixture of hell and of heaven

Prescribed for each one at his birth

A W Eustace