Part 2..A New Generation.
Driven even to further places,
To the Adelaide Hills they went,
To Lobethal, valley of praise.
To Hahndorf to join other pioneers,
Further East to Hamilton, Victoria,
Verdant fields and fruitful crops.
Set up their Lutheran Faith and churches,
On more rich and promising soils.
Still they the tenacious pioneers
Stepped off ship with families,
Stern determination of a surviving peoples.
Nothing could deter their ambitions,
Then came the wars,
Then came again the oppression,
Then came again the name changes,
Town names of German flavour,
Family names of German ancestry,
Department of nomenclature opened,
A ludicrous absurdity of an absurd people.
Facilitate German names to French.
Rhine River becomes The Marne,
Rhine Villa becomes Cambrai.
Hahndorf becomes Ambleside.
Steinfeld is twisted into Stonefield.
Sedan remains Sedan..
French name chosen by German folk,
Mockery of French defeat there.
So Sedan remains,
Mockery of the department of nomenclature,
Mockery of the government historical knowledge.
But the family names change,
Umlauts are dropped,
Letters in names are erased,
Anglo first names used to ameliorate hate
Of anything German.
Then came the second war,
Then came suspicions worse.
Then came reportings,
Then came arrests,
Then came the internment camps.
What dignity the Great Depression,
Had not destroyed, Anglo Government did.
Unity and community not only victims,
The mechanics of war machines,
Perfected the tractor.
Horse farming was broken,
Horse trades were dismantled,
Gone the harness makers,
Gone the saddlers,
Gone the blacksmiths and farriers.
Gone with their families from the towns.
Gone in almost the blink of an eye.
Come the diesel tractors,
Come the motor mechanics,
Come the motor garages centre,
Of the town’s gathering activity
Alongside church and hotel.
Gone also the town bands,
Gone the choirs,
With them the cultural songs.
The small bakeries, butchers,
But the smell of petrol and diesel remain.
And the lending banks came to town.
Like the parasites they are.
And compound interest came into their lives.
Tooling-up is expensive,
Family farms were mortgaged,
Bad years for cropping came and went,
Families mortgage payments came due and went,
Family farms became hostage,
Families became hopelessly indebted,
Families went bankrupt.
Whole era drew to a shuddering close.
Enter this community the wily Cornish,
Enter the carefree Irish,
Enter those Italians interned as enemies.
From the new war.
Step into the picture a Cornish Tinker,
Step into the picture an Irish Mother,
Step into the picture an Italian mason.
Step into the picture the maiden he woos.
“Fair maiden” Riccardo calls “wither goest thou?”
Riccardo’s hand flat, inquisitory,
Like Italians do.
Tess instinctively understands.
“I go walking in the evening air, sir”,
She replies……He nods his head..smiles.
For this maiden was as beautiful as a rose.
As serene as a purpled sunset,
As welcome to the Italian’s eyes as a song to his heart.
“And a beautiful evening it is also, my lady”
“Yes…good sir…I mark how the evening light,
The pale pink of the evening throws gentle shadow,
On the soft, flowing waters of the Murray River.”
Tess wanted to become a poet,
Riccardo wanted to become employed.
“And you wander here every evening?”
“Yes, kind sir…for now is the time of my rest”
“From the big house?” Riccardo asks
“From the station house” Tess replies.
“From the Charcoal Burning camp, I come”
“From the deep mallee of the Italians, I come”
“You are then of the people of Italy?”
“Yes, fair maiden…I am of the Dolomites”
“You are from the interned Italians?”
“I am of those same ones” Riccardo answered.
“I come to this place twice a week”,
“I come to this place for water for the camp”.
“I come to this place for the pleasant scene” Tess said.
“Then when I next come here..” Riccardo said..
“Pray tell me you too may join me,
“In admiring the pale colours over tranquil waters”..
Riccardo smiled the smile of an admirer.
Tess blushed the blush of the admired.
“If good fortune allows, kind sir……I may.” she replied.
For Tess admired the form of this man,
Admired his calm confidence,
His strength of body,
“Addio till then fair maiden…addio!”
A passing moment a lifetime make?
A moment’s passion a lifetime’s mistake?
An Italian from the Dolomites,
A maiden from “breakheart country”.
A Maiden from the Murray Mallee.
What can be their union?
What can be their fate?
Can a moment’s passion become a lifetime mistake?
Riccardo to speak barely a word of English,
Tess not knowing one word of Italian,
But they met and exchanged pleasantries,
As only such attracted, diverse strangers could.
For what speaks the language of love
Better than those who are loving..
So will we listen in to their idle talk
With the knowing ears of a universal language.
As even their great difference in age vanished,
As even Madam Time is paused,
Her dead hand held fast as woman slips past,
With but a glance, a wistful smile
To those who adore.
Touch not vain man lest the moment spoil,
To but gaze upon and weep with desire.
And so they met, this diverse couple,
And Tess taught Riccardo the song of echos
Off the cliff-face over the river,
And there they sang songs of love to each other.
At first their songs were for their own laughter
And then their songs were for their own tempting,
And then for their teasing,
And then came the songs of loving….
He sang the songs of his people,
Tess sang the song of her liking..”Thora”
Riccardo sang into the echos..
“What a lovely girl as she does pass,
Oh how beautiful she steals my heart!”
Oh how well you dance, my bonny lass,
How you dance so well your part.
See the Wren in the tree,
How beautiful it sings, it steals my heart!
Come, bonny girl..come dance with me.”
The words reformed and reverberated to Tess’s ears,
As a deep swirl of manly delight.
And then Tess sang into the echos..
“Thy voice in mine ear still mingles
With the voices of whisp’ring trees;
Thy kiss on my cheek still tingles
At each kiss of the summer breeze;
While dreams of the past are thronging
For substance of shades in vain,
I am waiting, watching, and longing —”
And her lyrical voice thrilled Riccardo’s ears,
And filled his heart with longing.
Each to each they sang into the echos
Of the cliffs over the river,
Over the soft swirling calm of the river,
Over the evening light of the river,
And the reverberating echoes mixed their songs
Until the words blended together in soft harmony,
Until the words flowed back to their ears,
Each to each filling their hearts.
Each to each the words filled their senses,
In gentle, joined ecstasy..
And their eyes met each to each,
And their hands joined each to each,
And their arms reached for each to each,
And their faces turned to each together
And their lips touched in a kiss…
Each to each…
Riccardo gazed in loving embrace to Tess and spoke;
“Oh woman..thine eyes alone would tempt,
Greater gods than man’s humble creation,
Thy beauty, even if only beheld in mine eye,
Enough to blind the honest to thievery
And if thou desires,
Let thee accrue the price or cost,
Beholden to no man’s pitiful measure..
For it is thy cup that pours the bouquet,
Let know that YOU will choose the bloodline,
Your body the time and place..no disgrace”
Tess pulled Riccardo close to her body
So her breasts were hard against his chest,
She looked up into his gaze and smiled,
And then let a drop of her spittle to tip of her finger,
And lifted it to the lips of Riccardo,
Who parted his lips and took her onto his tongue.
Tess took Riccardo’s hand and placed it on her breast..
And there under the fall of the evening light whispered;
“Come to me Ricci’..come to me..take me here..take me now.”
And so they lay together on the banks of that mighty river.
On the banks of the gentle, swirling river,
Under the soft evening glow by the river.
And the woman made her choice,
Her choice..glory or vainglory,
Time can grow jealous, men grow old,
Let her choose to look to either,
Heaven befits a granted grace,
And such beauty will reach even the heart of a stone,
But the moment loaned of a woman’s touch
Is enough for a wanting man,
To satiate his thirst for a sensual desire,
To satiate any longing hunger for Heaven’s Gate.
(Nb. This is a “work in progress and may be altered or added to at any time….J.C.)