Page:Moyarra- An Australian Legend in Two Cantos, 1891.djvu/12

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MOYARRA

so fast melting away before the ardour of the white man's progress in the Australian bush:—soon none of the natural heirs of the soil will remain; and, even now, their primitive life is comparatively unknown to the majority of their invaders.

"I would fain do honour to those artless qualities which have often been my sole social amusement when, week after week, I have sojourned in the bush, with no other companion than my faithful Australian, my dog, and my horse; and I bear willing testimony to the fidelity and cheerfulness which have sometimes made me think my sable companion a pattern worthy of imitation by many of his white and contemptuous supplanters.

"Gratitude, therefore, is one motive which induces me to publish; and if I fail to give pleasure to my countrymen they may yet perhaps, for the sake of the motive, excuse the awkwardness of the deed.

"For the truthful air of the poem I ought easily to be able to vouch; it was written (or rather composed and jotted down subsequently at intervals) when I was in daily communication with the unfortunate race of which it treats; and I now present it as originally written rather than interfere with it in a manner which might prejudice its faithfulness as a representation."