Henry Lawson, 1891
In spite of a dark and sickening suspicion that the story upon which the following effort is founded is nothing more or less than an advertisement of a well-known brand of whisky, we cannot resist the importunities of the muse. However, we take the precaution to throw the responsibility upon the Logan Witness.
There's a pretty little story with a touch of moonlit glory
Comes from Beenleigh on the Logan, but we don't know if it's true;
For we scarcely dare to credit ev'rything they say who edit
Those unhappy country papers 'twixt the ocean and Barcoo.
'Twas the man who owned the wherry at the first Coomera ferry
Who was sitting cold and lonely while he counted out his tin;
When the cloudy curtain lifting let the moonlight on a drifting
Boat, that floated down the river with a pallid form therein.
And they say that Sergeant Carey (with the man who ran the ferry),
Started down to save the body from the cruel heartless sea,
And in spite of wind and water, soon they reached the barque and caught her;
And they tied the boat behind them while they wondered "who was he?"
O the moon shone bright as ever as they towed him up the river,
And they found within the pocket that was nearest to his breast
Just an antidote for sorrow, that would tide him o'er the morrow
(Flask of Brandy); but we'd better draw the curtain o'er the rest.
Yet, in case the point's too finely drawn (we know we joke divinely),
And the reader fails to see it with a magnifying glass,
We will say the man who floated, while the moonlight o'er him gloated,
Was not dead and gone to heaven, he was only drunk, alas!