Joseph Furphy

(1843 - 1912 / Australia)

Joseph Furphy
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Joseph Furphy was born at Yering in the upper valley, Victoria, the son of Protestant Irish bounty emigrants who arrived in Australia in 1841. It was Joseph's older brother, John, who invented the Furphy water-cart, which was the means the expression ‘furphy’ came into Australian English.) Joseph Furphy gained his education at a small school in Kyneton, and subsequently worked on his father’s farm before trying his luck on the goldfields. He was then employed as a threshing machine operator in the Daylesford district. Joseph married Leonie Germaine, a French girl, in 1867, and worked her mother’s vineyard and farm. In 1868 he acquired a selection in the Lake Cooper district, but was ... more »

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Best Poem of Joseph Furphy

The Gumsucker's Dirge

Sing the evil days we see, and the worse that are to be,
In such doggerel as dejection will allow,
We are pilgrims, sorrow-led, with no Beulah on ahead,
No elysian Up the Country for us now.

For the settlements extend till they seem to have no end;
Spreading silently, you can't tell when or how;
And a home-infested land stretches out on every hand,
So there is no Up the Country for us now.

On the six-foot Mountain peak, up and down the dubious creek,
Where the cockatoos alone should make a row,
There the rooster tears his throat, to announce with...

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