Author's note (1884 edition): Sung by me at the first ball given by the Governor, Sir James Stirling, in Perth. - G. F. M.
The first ball was held 3 September, 1831.
Moore included two explanatory notes at the end of the poem in the 1884 edition: the first note refers to the phrase 'No lions or tigers' in the first line of the final stanza and reads 'There are no ferocious beasts there. The timid kangaroo is the largest indigenous animal. Swans were so abundant on the river when first discovered as to give the name Swan River Settlement. I dare not say that I christened the colony, but certainly after the above song the name of Western Australia was adopted.' Note two refers to the phrase 'Our currency's' in the sixth line of the final stanza and reads 'There was much trouble then about a debased currency at the Cape of Good Hope and elsewhere.'
J. M. R. Cameron in The Millendon Memoirs (2006) notes that copies of the song were widely circulated. A copy was sent to relatives of the Tanner family, also Swan River colonists, in England and published in Joseph Cross's Journals of Several Expeditions Made in Western Australia (1833). It was known in India and seems also to have been published in an English or Irish newspaper. (37; 151; 190; 191)
Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of
In his 'Preface: Introductory and Explanatory' to this 1884 version of his Diary, Moore describes 'the "Diary or Journal" herinafter contained ... It was commenced soon after my embarcation from Dublin ... for the space of ten years in the colony, until my first return home on leave of absence. It was not continued after that time. ' (vi) The 'original letters' were first 'carefully preserved by those to whom they were sent in [Ireland]' and later 'confided to the care of a near relative in the colony, who had expressed a great desire to see them.' (vii). They were shown to Thomas Cockburn-Campbell, half owner and editor of the West Australian newspaper who requested permission from Moore to 'publish extracts from them seriatim in his paper, according as space would admit of.' (vii). Cockburn-Campbell sent Moore 'a copy of each paper which contained an extract.' Moore 'cut out those extracts and gummed them into an album ... enabl[ing] me to publish them all here afresh.' (vii)
With the Diary of Ten Years, Moore added 'a "Descriptive Vocabulary" of the language of the Aborigines...' (vii) originally published in 1842 and 'long out of print'. (ix)
J. M. R. Cameron in his introduction to The Millendon Memoirs (2006) notes that the Diary 'brought together the 1834 Extracts as they appeared originally, edited by Doyle not Campbell, and Campbell's edited excerpts for the later period.... [However] Moore deleted entries for the period from 10 April to 11 June 1836 which had appeared in the [West Australian] newspaper on 4 April 1882. (viii-ix)
yWestern Australian Writing : An Online AnthologyJohn Kinsella
Nedlands:University of Western Australia LibraryAustLit: The Australian Literature Resource,2003Z10750062003anthology poetry autobiography biography correspondence essay extract prose short story Nedlands:University of Western Australia LibraryAustLit: The Australian Literature Resource,2003