Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Burke & Wills




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When Burke and Wills left Melbourne, ten thousand came to see
The flags were flying gaily, the wind was fresh and free
Their bold and daring leader rode bravely on before,
When Burke and Wills left Melbourne town, up-country to explore
When Burke and Wills left Melbourne town, up-country to explore

Way out on hells horizon where desert demons wail,
The horses and the camels fell back along the trail
Through tribal land forbidden, two men along, they won,
The Gulf of Carpentaria lay shining in the sun
The Gulf of Carpentaria lay shining in the sun

To drought and desolation they staggered in return
By jagged hills and gullies where arid acres burn
Their feet could barely falter, their tongues could hardly speak
Too late, alas, by half a day they came to Cooper's Creek
Too late, alas, by half a day they came to Cooper's Creek

Starvation, gaunt and bitter, now stood at every hand
The sun drank all the water and shimmered in the sand;
Mount Hopeless raised a finger and beckoned in the sky
For Burke and Wills their time had come to perish there and die
For Burke and Wills their time had come to perish there and die

Let legend tell the story of gallant men and bold
Who braved the great unconquered in dashing of old
Where lonely lies the wasteland beyong the purple hills,
The dingoes of the desert know the fate of Burke and Wills
The dingoes of the desert know the fate of Burke and Wills


From the Wildflower Songsheet of Australian Ballads. Burke and Wills were arguably Australia's most famous inland explorers. For more information on their expeditions, visit the Burke and Wills Online Digital Archive.

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