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CE0RCE I8IEX EVANS.
A QUEENSLAND POET.
(By R. 8. M., in tho Gympie "Miner.")
And. Essex Krane, the Queenalu nd poet, is dead ! His was indeed a rare nature, tull of high ideals, a boundicss lov«) of nature, synipatny for mankind, actuated, st timos with the tenderness "of a woman, yet robust, strong, and
'healthy in all that appertained to national life. Of a retiring disposi- tion, rendered more so by physical d.s.
ability in that he «uu>red for many: / years from partial drainées, he never, thele« wis a man whom to know as a friend was to cherish and admiro, ia him the poetic instinct was highly de- veloped, and'.while he admired much that is known as Australian poetiy, ile abhored that, jingling versification th»t bulks so largely in onr bush themes, in depicting the baser side of life an« scenej of wayside ribaldry. That was not ? Australia or Australian life
ns -ha. saw it. Mr. Evans's v poem. "The Women of the West," breathes in every line the atmosphere of the Australian plains, lie knew them in the North and" West, having spent some years of official life aa far remote as the Gulf Country.
" Travelling out west on tho souther» line some years ago, just wheu fais* ration of the Australian States was so
çomplisbed, a mixed company, all un- known to each othsr, shared tho car riapo with him. Arguments for and against Federation were advanced, oh« member .of. the party preuaginqc dire di-
saster to consummate fedemtion. An- other, a Southerner, of more buoyant disposition! clinched the argument bj saying he .had recently read a poem oa the subject"by a Queensland writer, ia which occurred one line that nut th« situation.in a nutshell.. Taking His pocket-book from his pocket, he turned, over several of the leaves, and, finding the place he wanted, said "Ah, her* it is:- , .. , .... ,.' ; ?.:,;??'.,
:, 'Gan we break the land asunder , '.' ' God has. girdled by the stu?'
There's . federation. ' For . wo ^ çannott ? break thé land except by artificial bar- riers which) have no. right .to exist) among peonle of the one race.*' ; (Tho Unas were taken from Krans's ''Com- monwealth Ode.") .-':,'"
In his lifetime, ho contributed many articles,-stories, and verses on.á great) variety of subject« to numerous Austra- lian journals. For a time the "Queens- lander!1 ¡ind "Courier" Were privileged by Wm to publish his off unions, but ht later years he went farther afield, . and many appeared in the leading journal's in Sydney and Melbourne, also in; th*» weighty monthlies published in Londoa
and New York.
During'18»3, 1894, and 1897 Mr. Evans editetl "The Antipodean," hi» co-editor, beiß Mr. A. B. Paterson., who is better known, throughout Australia by his ? norn do plume-, "Banjo." .
The "Commonwealth Ode'' won run, a £30 prize from th© New South Walea Government. Some years later, after a severe illness- in the Toowomha.Hos- pital,, where ho lay during the Hines* that terminated Iiis life, he. wrote " The Angel of Fain,"a poem that add- ed to his reputation. ?"? Abont th rea years ago he launched Wh'la^st vol- ume, "The Secret Key ? and Other Poems," with success. - _
Only three months ago Essex Evana published simultaneously^ in Queens- land. Sydnoy. and in '-The Times," London, n Jubilee Ode, entitled "Queen of tho North," in which ¡Ko »poko of the handful that took their stand ns pioncors in founding Queensland, ana of tho great need thero is to-day oS filling, tho'waste spaces. ' \~
Who that, has visited Toowoomba, and has made his way to Picnic Point, down the Old Tollbar-road, has not hod rointed . out to him tho poet s atK«de. There it stands, an ideal - scene, ;wit]i the michtv range of mountains tower- ing behind it. Such a scene breaMicil inspiration or lofty tltiouchti . for opm muninc that leads from Nature upjto TîatuitoYs pvid. And there the : por* lived, for Toowoombn was' dear to him, and fitting it is -that- thero m that Queen.City of tíio Darling .Dewai he has breathed hts last- i