Lake Eliza

Henry Lawson, 1893

      The sand was heavy on our feet,
             A Christmas sky was o'er us,
      And half a mile through dust and heat
             Lake 'Liza lay before us.
      'You'll have a long and heavy tramp' —
             So said the last adviser —
      'You can't do better than to camp
             To-night at Lake Eliza.'

      We quite forgot our aching shanks,
             A cheerful spirit caught us;
      We thought of green and shady banks,
             We thought of pleasant waters.
      'Neath sky as niggard of its rain
             As of his gold the miser,
      By mulga scrub and lignum plain
             We'd tramp'd to Lake Eliza.

      A patch to grey discoloured sand,
             A fringe of tufty grasses,
      A lonely pub in mulga scrub
             Is all the stranger passes.
      He'd pass the Lake a dozen times
             And yet be none the wiser;
      I hope that I shall never be
             As dry as Lake Eliza.

      No patch of green or water seen
             To cheer the weary plodder;
      The grass is tough as fencing-wire,
             And just as good for fodder.
      And when I see it mentioned in
             Some local Advertiser,
      'Twill make me laugh, or make me grin —
             The name of 'Lake Eliza'.