This poem appears in a number of versions from 1843 onwards. For further details, see The Poems of Charles Harpur in Manuscript in the Mitchell Library and in Publication in the Nineteenth Century: An Analytical Finding List by Elizabeth Holt and Elizabeth Perkins (Canberra: Australian Scholarly Editions Centre, 2002).
Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of
yThe Poetical Works of Charles HarpurCharles Harpur,
Sydney:Angus and Robertson,1984Z4595551984selected work poetry satire 'This collection represents one version of almost every poem written by Charles Harpur, with the omission of some translations and paraphrases. The verse drama, "Stalwart the Bushranger", and the fragments of the dramatic poem "King Saul" are not included. ... The collection is edited from Harpur's manuscript poems held in the Mitchell Library, Sydney, and from printed copies in colonial newspapers when no manuscript version existed.' (Preface)Sydney:Angus and Robertson,1984
Selections from Australian Poets No. 1.
We venture to assert that the following is the most beautiful poem belonging to the infant literature of this country. A still, deep, shining power pervades it, like the pure, beamy, quiet flow of our own rock-bedded Nepean, where it glides from the trackless mountains to the peopled plain, a power which is in itself a bounty like that stream of fresh waters. We have often drank of both, when aweary of the tumoils of this world, and when athirst with hard work and the summer sun; and we shall never forget the sensations of balmy delight which we experienced. It would serve no interest of ours, and we have little desire, to puff Mr. Harpur- his is a wayward and erratic genius; but we consider this production alone would stamp him as a true poet.