by Louisa Lawson (1848-1920)
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.