Excerpt from Echoes From Coondambo
The miscellaneous poems and rhyming sketches I now present to your notice have nearly all appeared before, either in newspaper or book form, and I therefore have named the present volume Echoes from Coondambo. I may say that I have crossed t... he Equator five times in sailing vessels - in three instances before the mast - and six times in steamers, and I have been engaged in squatting pursuits for thirty-five years, twenty-nine of which I have lived in the back bush of South Australia, so that whatever poetic merit the verses may or may not possess, they are at least the outcome of my own actual observation and experience. As one critic, in his review of my first book, published some years ago, said I had modelled the Last Voyage of the London upon F alconer's Shipwreck, and that I had striven to imitate Bret Harte and Joaquim Miller, let me here say that I have never read Falconer's poem, nor have I ever seen Joaquim Miller's works; furthermore, I have read but very few of Bret Harte's poems, and I am modest enough to believe that no one can ¿atter me so much as to establish a similarity between their rhymes and mine. Since I commenced writing verse I have never had any volumes of poetry to which I could refer, save the Ingoldsby Legends, Tom Hood, and Brunton Stephens's Godolphin Arabian, consequently, if I have unconsciously imitated any poets, they would be Scott, Byron, or Pope, my favorite authors when I was a young man, or one of the three authors previously mentioned. I have learnt that my sea and bush pieces are great favorites with sailors and bushmen who have read them, and who cam recognise their truthful description, yet have not the critical ear to detect their literary short comings. Trusting you may find something to interest you in Echoes from Coondambo.
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