"Adam Lindsay Gordon
Froth and Bubble Festival"
24th June

Adam Lindsay Gordon
Police Trooper
Horse Trainer
And above all, POET


Whisper, spring-wind, softly singing,
Whisper in my ear;
Respite and nepenthe bringing,
Can the goal be near?
Laden with the dew of vespers,
From the fragrant sky,
In my ear the wind that whispers
Seems to make reply---

'Question not, but live and labour
Till yon goal be won,
Helping every feeble neighbour,
Seeking help from none;
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
KINDNESS in another's trouble,
COURAGE in your own.'

(From Ye Wearie Wayfarer Fytte VIII)

Though the pitcher that goes to the sparkling rill
Too oft gets broken at last,
There are scores of others its place to fill
When its earth to the earth is cast;
Keep that pitcher at home, let it never roam,
But lie like a useless clod,
Yet sooner or later the hour will come
When its chips are thrown to the sod.

Is it wise, then, say, in the waning day,
When the vessel is crack'd and old,
To cherish the battered potter's clay,
As though it were virgin gold?
Take care of yourself, dull, boorish elf,
Though prudent and safe you seem,
Your pitcher will break on the musty shelf,
And mine by the dazzling stream.

(From Ye Wearie Wayfarer Fytte VI)

To beasts of the field, and fowls of the air,
And fish of the sea alike,
Man's hand is ever slow to spare,
And ever ready to strike;
With a licence to kill, and to work our will,
In season by land or by water,
To our heart's content we may take our fill
Of the joys we derive from slaughter.

And few, I reckon, our rights gainsay
In this world of rapine and wrong,
Where the weak and the timid seem lawful prey
For the resolute and the strong;
Fins, furs, and feathers, they are and were
For our use and pleasure created,
We can shoot, and hunt, and angle, and snare,
Unquestioned, if not unsated.

I have neither the will nor the right to blame,
Yet to many (though not to all)
The sweets of destruction are somewhat tame,
When no personal risks befall;
Our victims suffer but little, we trust
(Mere guesswork and blank enigma),
If they suffer at all, our field sports must
Of cruelty bear the stigma.
(From Ye Wearie Wayfarer Fytte V)

Kindness in another's trouble.
Courage in your own.
Life is mostly froth and bubble.

Arrange an outing with a neighbour!
Get together!
Throw a party! Invite some friends!
Play some music!
Recite some poetry! Make a speech!
Tell some jokes! Tell a story!
Take a trip! Into the bush!
Step out!
Cook up a storm!
Blow your trumpet!
Take a mark!
Engage in a debate!
Go exploring!

All events in Melbourne are preceded by a gathering at the Gordon Square Spring Street statue of Adam Lindsay Gordon


Adam Lindsay Gordon celebration at the SA Writers Centre 2nd Floor, 187 Rundle Street, Adelaide Friday 22nd of June. Featuring Lorraine Day author and Geoff Dening performing "The Ballad of Adam Lindsay Gordon".