We present this work in honor of the poet’s 175th birthday.
The waratah has stained her cheek,
Her lips are even brighter,
Like virgin quartz without a streak
Her teeth are, but far whiter.
Her eyes are large arid soft and dark,
And clear as running water;
And straight as any stringy bark
Is Lil, the digger’s daughter.
She’ll wash a prospect quick and well,
And deftly rise the ladle;
The weight of gold at sight she’ll tell,
And work with tub and cradle.
She was her father’s only mate,
And wound up wash and water,
She worked all day and studied late,
For all she knows he taught her.
She stood to wait the word below.
A test for woman, rather;
When I sprang to the windlass bow,
And helped her land her father,
She turned her pretty face on me
To thank me, and I thought her
The grandest girl of all her race
Sweet Lil, the digger’s daughter.
And when my luck began to change
I grew a trifle bolder,
And told my love, but it was strange
She knew before I told her.
She said that she would be my wife,
Then home I proudly brought her,
To be my loving mate for life,
But still the digger’s daughter.