TWOFOLD BAY

TWOFOLD BAY
By E.J. Brady, taken from Wardens of the Seas, 1933

From Imlay proudly rearing his tall compelling crown,
The white clouds coming seaward cast flying shadows down;
By blue sky-captains marshalled, in regiments they pass,
To silent marching orders above the waving grass.

Rude hands on trembling tree-tops the west winds fiercely lay;
They whip protesting water o’er troubled Twofold Bay,
And drive, like drunken shepherds, their helpless flocks
Of white-capped waves in anger on hungry shoreward rocks.

‘Neath fleeting flecks of sunlight the litten lines unfold
Of ranges briefly reigning in pale dim robes of gold;
Their short-lived glories vanish as spreads returning cloud
Along that distant skyline its cold, encircling shroud.

From chimneys in the village a scattered smoke outpours,
Caught up by gusty breezes and wafted round the shores;
Beside his hearthstone smoking a village greybeard dreams
Of years that lie behind him, when heavy bullock-teams

Brought down from high Monaro the early squatter’s bales,
And ‘neath the hills at anchor rode ships with waiting sails;
Or tales his father told him of still an older day
When blacks were bad in Bega, ere Boyd came in the bay.

All bound for cold Kiandra, he sees again a band
In wide slouch hats and moleskins from some small coaster land,
Equipped with picks and blankets, tin-dish and swag and tent,
The rough-and-ready vanguard on buried riches bent.

Anon, by Fortune favoured, some came to Eden town
To take a passage elsewhere, or knock their winnings down;
Then Sally at the Sea Horse, while concertinas played,
Drew bearded lovers to her and did a roaring trade.

Until a lucky digger – or so the story ran –
Was robbed in Sally’s parlour and shot her fancy man;
But when a jury freed him, those early legends say,
She wed that lucky digger, sold out and sailed away!

The grey beard by his fireside upon the west wind hears
The well-remembered voices of dead colonial years;
He sees, in red coals pictured, fond faces that he knew,
When down yon rugged ranges a gold escort came through

In times of slower travel, in days of horsemen bold,
Who rode by painted coaches that carried girls and gold.
Aye, days of beef and damper and long percussion guns,
When hardy stockmen guarded the lonely cattle runs.
Dark hulls of greasy whalers no more at Boydtown ride,
Nor trading schooners tarry for change of wind and tide;
No more will hoof-beats echo as ranging riders go,
Nor rattle o’er rough roadways the wheels of Cobb and co. 00
Now gallant youths of Eden drink beer in Rudd’s hotel,
Whose grandsires in the graveyard drank rum, the gossips tell;
Now shades of grandmas shudder and shake their ghostly curls
When round the links of Eden trudge short-frocked golfing girls!

Where wheezed a concertina in lamp-lit nights of yore
Canned music calls the couple to jazz on dance-room floor;
Where woke a coachman’s bugle the echoes of the dale,
A motor-horn announces the coming daily mail.

So Changes, with iron fingers upon his flying pen,
Doth ever write new chapters within the Book of Men;
So wages the world for ever; so alter human ways . . .
But they were brave and bonny, those old Colonial days.

And still unchanged from Imlay the west wind hurries down
As when Ben Boyd went sailing away from Eden town;
And still the white clouds, sweeping, in marching order pass
Above the bending forest and o’er the waving grass.

And by his fireside sitting an old man faintly hears
The voices of his boyhood, the songs of numbered years;
And to his children’s children, as old men fitly may,
He tells on winter evenings his tales of Twofold Bay.

____________________________________________

TWOFOLD BAY
By E.J. Brady, taken from Wardens of the Seas, 1933

From Imlay proudly rearing his tall compelling crown,
The white clouds coming seaward cast flying shadows down;
By blue sky-captains marshalled, in regiments they pass,
To silent marching orders above the waving grass.

Rude hands on trembling tree-tops the west winds fiercely lay;
They whip protesting water o’er troubled Twofold Bay,
And drive, like drunken shepherds, their helpless flocks
Of white-capped waves in anger on hungry shoreward rocks.

‘Neath fleeting flecks of sunlight the litten lines unfold
Of ranges briefly reigning in pale dim robes of gold;
Their short-lived glories vanish as spreads returning cloud
Along that distant skyline its cold, encircling shroud.

From chimneys in the village a scattered smoke outpours,
Caught up by gusty breezes and wafted round the shores;
Beside his hearthstone smoking a village greybeard dreams
Of years that lie behind him, when heavy bullock-teams

Brought down from high Monaro the early squatter’s bales,
And ‘neath the hills at anchor rode ships with waiting sails;
Or tales his father told him of still an older day
When blacks were bad in Bega, ere Boyd came in the bay.

All bound for cold Kiandra, he sees again a band
In wide slouch hats and moleskins from some small coaster land,
Equipped with picks and blankets, tin-dish and swag and tent,
The rough-and-ready vanguard on buried riches bent.

Anon, by Fortune favoured, some came to Eden town
To take a passage elsewhere, or knock their winnings down;
Then Sally at the Sea Horse, while concertinas played,
Drew bearded lovers to her and did a roaring trade.

Until a lucky digger – or so the story ran –
Was robbed in Sally’s parlour and shot her fancy man;
But when a jury freed him, those early legends say,
She wed that lucky digger, sold out and sailed away!

The grey beard by his fireside upon the west wind hears
The well-remembered voices of dead colonial years;
He sees, in red coals pictured, fond faces that he knew,
When down yon rugged ranges a gold escort came through

In times of slower travel, in days of horsemen bold,
Who rode by painted coaches that carried girls and gold.
Aye, days of beef and damper and long percussion guns,
When hardy stockmen guarded the lonely cattle runs.
Dark hulls of greasy whalers no more at Boydtown ride,
Nor trading schooners tarry for change of wind and tide;
No more will hoof-beats echo as ranging riders go,
Nor rattle o’er rough roadways the wheels of Cobb and co. 00
Now gallant youths of Eden drink beer in Rudd’s hotel,
Whose grandsires in the graveyard drank rum, the gossips tell;
Now shades of grandmas shudder and shake their ghostly curls
When round the links of Eden trudge short-frocked golfing girls!

Where wheezed a concertina in lamp-lit nights of yore
Canned music calls the couple to jazz on dance-room floor;
Where woke a coachman’s bugle the echoes of the dale,
A motor-horn announces the coming daily mail.

So Changes, with iron fingers upon his flying pen,
Doth ever write new chapters within the Book of Men;
So wages the world for ever; so alter human ways . . .
But they were brave and bonny, those old Colonial days.

And still unchanged from Imlay the west wind hurries down
As when Ben Boyd went sailing away from Eden town;
And still the white clouds, sweeping, in marching order pass
Above the bending forest and o’er the waving grass.

And by his fireside sitting an old man faintly hears
The voices of his boyhood, the songs of numbered years;
And to his children’s children, as old men fitly may,
He tells on winter evenings his tales of Twofold Bay.Image

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