“B–n, Emily E.” [Emily Elizabeth Beavan]. “The Gold Seeker.” The Courier (Hobart, Tasmania) 18 March 1853: 2.
Ms. Lyn Nunn of Australia, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Elizabeth Beavan, has been helping us immensely with filling in the biographical and bibliographical details about the formerly elusive poet. In her latest contribution to our project, she has sent the links to two poems published in Australian newspapers. The first of these is reproduced here; the second will follow tomorrow.
The Gold Seeker.
Pearly cold the moonbeams shone,
Where the gold-seeker slept when the day was done
Heavy and damp felt the curls of his hair,
And his pale young brow had a shade of care.
For hard and bitter had been his toil
Ere he won the glittering spoil.
But now he rested this dewy night,
And pillowed his head on his gold so bright.
In splendour the stars through the blue heavens roll,
And visions of beauty awake in his soul.
Far, far away, o’er the deep sea foam,
He standeth again in his childhood’s home;
And again the balmy scent he breathes
Of its clustering rose and woodbine wreaths,
He sees his mother, her eyes are dim,
As she makes to heaven a prayer for him;
And now he feels her fond caress,
As she bends her long lost boy to bless,
In the scented shade of a hawthorn tree
Crystal waters are gushing free.
By the fountain stands a maiden fair,
With soft dark eyes and shining hair;
And he hears her silvery accents tell
How she hath kept her troth-plight well.
She bathes his brow with the spring-drops cool,
She presses his lip and his joy is full.
But ah! with a pang of agony deep,
The dreamer wakes from his blessed sleep—
A shriek, a shudder, a sudden start,
The murderer’s knife is in his heart.
And while the streams of his life run cold—
They bear away his hard-won gold,
And leave him there alone to die,
By the pale blue light of a starry sky.
Strangers make him a nameless grave
Where the lofty trees of the forest wave.
And long may his mother pray and weep,
And the maiden true her trysting keep.
The grass grows green above his breast,
Where he taketh his long and dreamless rest.