TO OUR EARLY SETTLERS. (Dedicated to the Pioneers' Association.) Ye fought in the vanguard nobly. Fought through the barren years l . But ye were true men and women — Proudest of pioneers. Heroes and toilers unvanquished. Battling in single tile ; Settlors who took the wild country, • And tamed it mile by mile. Dreamers and fighters and champions Yours was a life for men. And yours seemed no way for women, Tho’ bravest were toiling then : Taking a track to the township. Facing - harsh rains or a flood. And this for the cause of freedom — The right of British blood..
Many and smooth are the roadways. And railway tracks are near. But dream of our early settlers, And trials of yester-year. Oh, think of the bitter hardships. The heavy and heartless toil ; But thank the Lord there’s a harvest, And sweet the corn and oil.
Forest, and wild-track, and river, Bleak as a dream of hate ! All this for the love of a woman, Or faith in hardy mate. All this for hope of the children — Ideals well worth the strife ; So settlers came forth and conquered— Iblb Thus the glamour of life !
O the sun shines on the mountains., Gay light is o'er the plain, And I see the happy homesteads And 'green of growing grain. The cattle are fat in the paddocks. Sheep search the grey hillside— A gift from out early settlers — One we can claim with pride.
But little a song is worthy— I feel its woeful dearth. O little this idle tribute To bravest of the earth. But one in his higher moments (One who has seen and knows), Can pay for the love of his country The halting song he owes. OTIA. (The above lines wore awarded first prize at the recent competitions in Invercargill. —Ed.),
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Poetry., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 25, 12 October 1907
Poetry. Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 25, 12 October 1907
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