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To the Editor of the ADVERTISER.
Sir-May I be allowed to offer a few criticisms on the song which has just obtained the prize at Gawler. I find that the general opinion with regard to it is that, though in many respects a beautiful production, it has neither sufficient fire, nor the comprehensive view of the subject which a patriotic song should pos- sess ; neither is it characteristic of the country. If it was not for the word "Australia" being placed at the end of each verse, no one would know what country was spoken of, as the whole could be as well applied to California. This is the great point of objection. When I learnt that 93 songs had been sent in it was natural to expect that the fortunate one which the Judges should select a3 the best would, indeed, be a gem, and worthy of the occasion-characteristic of, and applicable to, this and no other country, con- taining a comprehensive and graphic treatment of the subject, full of life and vigor. We wanted the "Song of Australia," the freest land ia the world, and where we enjoy privileges which we should have to sigh for in vain elsewhere. Though, as all individuals and countries have their defects, so has Australia ; but they are comparatively few, which may be easily proved by residing in anjr
other country under the sun. I do not approve ol' flattery, and therefore, would not paint our fair adopted country better than she deserves. Australia lias her own distinguishing peculiarities, politi- cally, and in the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms. And, therefore, in writing a " Song of Australia," there is no necessity of making one which woidd apply to any other country.
I forebear making minute criticisms more than to observe that children are not so joyous, so fidl of life, here as in England. So that part of the poem which refers to this point is scarcely correct.
The writer of the pr>¿e song is no doubt endowed with a considerable degree of the poetical element but the subject is;, 1 suppose scarcely in her line.
It is easy, Mr. Editor, to find fault, but I presume that criticism is as lawful now as ever it was. Let those that find fault do as well if they can.
Making all apologies for intruding these hastily
I am, Sir, &c.,