Echuca

With wood and wool for Adelaide
The paddle boats came down
When here this spritely river maid
Built up her river town.
Flanked by the green of spreading gums,
Where trade in waxing volume comes
Her industry to crown.

Those were the careless, easy days
The days of old romance,
When men were prone to casual ways,
But she had marked her chance,
As gateway of the north and east,
To share one day the coming feast
Of this wide land's advance.

Now she, grown old in count of years,
Stays young, who dreams her fate
Is to arise above her peers
And serve a sister State,
Handmaid of kindlier kinship when
Madness and folly fall from men
And they, with towns, grow great.

The paddle boats, with wool and wood,
Churned lazily along
When peace seemed sure, when life seemed good,
Ere all a world went wrong.
Strife wells; yet, valiant as of yore
Old Murray sings without her door
Of hope an ageless song.

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"Echuca" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 1 Jun 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6306/echuca>.

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