Country Roads ~ The New Chum Road

Clarence Michael James Dennis

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A new chum went, to ease his care,
A-many years ago,
To loiter round Toolangi where
The stately blue gums grow.
No bushcraft had he for his quest,
No friend to be his guide,
But sought the grade that served him best,
From Yarra's plain to mountain crest,
And crossed the Great Divide.

And round and round the hills he wound
No lilting tramp song sang he -
First East, then North, then West-ward bound.
An easy grade at last he found
That led him to Toolangi.
And tho' they vowed his trail a freak,
The men that followed after
No straighter, easier path might seek,
Yet named the brook the New Chum Creek,
With rough, good-humored laughter.

They followed on his trail for years
With many a stout bush load:
Till came at last wise engineers
To build a goodly road.
With plan and scale and instrument
They sought the mountain side
To find the way the new chum went,
The best, as clearly evident,
To cross the Great Divide,

So round and round that hilly around
The pleasant track goes weaving.
Who seek its hillsides, blossom bound,
By many a gum and fern-tree crowned
Will find small cause for grieving.
The New Chum Road 'tis called today;
And they who travel round it,
And drive along that verdant way,
Will find it in their hearts to say:
"Good luck to him that found it."

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