Searching by the riverside for specks of gleaming gold
Sluicing through the pebbles and the sand,
Hope to make a fortune for it’s here the miner told
Nuggets found were bigger than your hand.
Back from California when the goldfields ceased to yield,
Australia now the land of hoped success,
Shanty town now sitting where there once was grazing field,
Every miner working under stress.
Has to find that fortune, lest the swelling mining town
Beckon to a ranging criminal band,
Glances at his swollen hands with spirit sagging down
Weeks of work with naught but rock and sand
Raises eyes to heaven as he rests upon his spade
Surely the Almighty up above
Knows his need for money for this life he’d gladly trade
Yearning for a life with lady love.
Her Father had refused him when he’d asked for Mary’s hand,
Only those with money could she wed.
He would be considered when he owned a plot of land
Come back when he had it Father said.
The miner sighed as quickly he returned to press the search
Looking for that long elusive gold,
Thinking of his Mary standing smiling in the church;
Seeing him beside her proud and bold.
Then a faint impression like the whisper of the breeze
Bade him search a crevice in the bank,
Saw the branches pointing as they whispered from the trees
In the crevice trusty shovel sank.
Something hard encountered as he scraped away the soil
Glinting in the hot and steamy sun,
Could it be there was at last results from all this toil?
He cleaned it in the river on the run.
This was it! The gold would now secure sweet Mary’s hand
Secretly he mined it from its vein,
Couldn’t wait to cash it in and buy the wedding band,
Money banked, he quickly boarded train.
Anxiously he left the train and took the coach to town
Rang the bell with eager ringing tone,
Door was opened slightly to reveal a Father’s frown,
Then he heard the words that chilled to bone.
Mary has been married off for you were long away
With no more word we thought you’d left for good,
Take your interests elsewhere for there’s nothing else to say,
Cry of pain escaped him as he stood!
Mary heard that cry of pain and hastened there to see
Found her lover standing at the door,
Overwhelmed with love she was but knew it couldn’t be
She watched him walk away for evermore.
“© Copyright Ian Grice 2013, all rights reserved”