Sad captive now, her stumbling fettered feet,

No longer free to dance the hours away.

 

On her pale lips the bitterness of defeat

Will ever cling, while tethered she must stay,

Yonder her Lord, the Sea, chafes at his loves delay.

 

Mountains that cradled her now are prison walls,

On paths she trod the new turned earth congeals,

Under the ground, through dungeons dark she crawls,

Naked, a slave to serve the Giant wheel.

Though fast she speeds, the wheel as lightening goes,

And idles not, her heart for freedom calls.

Is she never again to kiss the glistening snows?

Never to treat the fragrant bushland halls?

Shut away in the gloom where the sun never falls.

 

Hard by her other toilers sweat and strain

Young men, sad-eyed from distant war-torn lands,

Displaced Personnel from Germany's lost domain,

Refugees from hate in troubled alien strands,

Of brawny muscled arms and skilful sinewy hands.

 

Evening brings to those who toil a time of rest.

Low to his couch, slow sinks the drowsy sun.

Each bird goes winging homeward to its rest,

Calling to tell the world 'day's work is done'.

The evening brings the slave no such repose.

Round muct roll the wheel, night watches through.

It's spinning greets the day, still spinning sees it close,

Chanting the same old pliant, 'Slave, where are you?'

 

And when at last, her freedom earned, afar she goes,

Under her feet, the drifting desert sand

That's dry as dust, will blossom like the rose.

Here then shall be, vast spread on every hand,

Orchard and orange grove, the wheat field and the vine,

Riches, where want's grim rule alone held sway.

In toil-worn hands, she'll press the grape for wine.

Then swift she will fly to the silvery sunlit bay.

Yonder waits her Lord, crowned with the soft sea spray.

 

 Note from the original editor -

Could it be that the use of the first letter in each line of the Eucumbene River poem, to spell out SNOWY MOUNTAINS HYDRO ELECTRIC AUTHORITY, gives an indicator of the feeling towards the enforced changes to the area?