voices from the past


The Digger's Daughter

by Louisa Lawson (1848-1920)

Australian writer

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, and 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 use 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,
   And all she knows he taught her.

She stood alone above the shaft
   A test for woman, rather
When I sprang to the windlass haft
   And helped her land her father.
She turned her pretty face to 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 thought it 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.

About the Author

See our page on Louisa Lawson. Includes a linked list of all her writing available on our website.

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