- News of the day
CHARLOTTE STREET, COOKTOWN.
Where wheels of Cobb and Co. once rolled, and now Angora kidlings bleat
Where passed fully fifty tons of gold,
Well crowned and drained winds Charlotte street.
Here proudly coachmen cracked their whips,
Or bantered with the armed escort,
With loaded pistole on the hips
To guard the precious freights to port.
On either side and round about
Where now re-conquering bush-growths creep,
Where roy’string echoes once rang out,
Stark mould'ring pubs and mansions peep.
No more the merry chanties ring,
Nor Jewelled Maud repeat her joke,
Where birds again ate carolling.
And nightly calls the lone mopoke.
At 10 p.m. still sounds the toll
Of curfew bell, and once a week
Old pensioners to get the dole,
From rustic humpies by the creek,
As if from out forgotten years
Unhurriedly come down their ways—
The remnants of the pioneers,
Brave stalwarts of the roaring days.
From here the staunch and free of heart,
Well trained in many fields afar.
Went forth to make another start,
The lure of gold their guiding star.
And here shrewd thinkers planned and schemed
With many a cunning trick they'd learned,
While Bacchus on his altar beamed
To win their 'pokes' when they returned.
Full twenty thousand Mongols too,
Each with his bambooed dual load,
To Palmerville went jogging through
All slaves to mandarins who rode.
And often, where the wind storms moan
And tropic rains work ravages,
The laggards fell to spears well thrown
To make a feast for savages.
The roaring days will come again.
With gold that will the world astound,
While rills and rivers sift the grain
There must be reefs still to be found.
Till then, far from the beaten ways,
By Charlotte Street the dingoes lurk,
Historic Cooktown sleeps— and waits.
Disturbed not by the din of work.
Cooktown. 'UNCLE DAN.'