Tag Archives: The Dawsley Ghost




Oh, have you heard the latest news

   Of how a ghost was seen,

By people whom we cannot say

   Are altogether green.


To Dawsley they had been, it seems,

   To hear a parson preach;

And service done they harried on,

   Their cosy homes to reach.


T\’was Sunday night, the moon was young,

   And cast a silver sheen

On all the gum trees in the vales,

   And o\’er the hillocks green.


ln such, a scene, oh, would that I

   Could wander on that road,

Acknowledge to some charming girl

   The debt of love I owed.


Alas! I\’m old, and now from me

   Suck, happy scenes ace fled

With mem\’ries of a lovelit past,

   Long buried with the dead.


But these good folk that trudged along

   Were lassies bright and fair,

Whose silver laughter rang upon

   The balmy evening air.


And laddies, too, with buoyant heart.

   Beside the lassies strode

With manly, light, elastic step,

   Along that Dawsley road.


Old fogies, too, serene and calm.

   Were walking with the young,

Whose blended voices harmonised.

   And through, the wattles rung.


In jocund mood, they strolled along,

   Bereft of every care;

When lo! their merry mood was changed

  To grim and horrid fear.


From out beneath a bridge was beard

   A deep sepulchral moan.

Soon followed by unearthly sounds,

   And then a horrid groan.


“Come down,” a ghostly voice called out,

   “Come down at once, I say;”

But rooted to the spot they stood,

   Upon the Queen\’s highway.


The ladies all began to scream,

   As nicely as they could,

While all the men with trembling knees.

   In silent horror stood.


Then bounded from that sullied group,

   Young brave and stalwart Joe,

Declaring by his lady love,

   Beneath the bridge he\’d go.


Like hero true he plunged below,

   That bridge so drear and dark,

Declaring he would catch the ghost.

   And prove the thing a lark.


He soon returned, and said he saw

   A figure white and tall

Quick vanish through a wooden fence

   Through panels, post and all.


He said he thought it was no ghost,

   But some \’owdacious\’ fellow

Whom he would like to pommel well,

   Until he\’d roar and bellow.


The ladies all admired Joe,

   And gave him each her blessing,

Each wishing he\’d got the chance

   To give the wretch a dressing.


So let us hope with all our heart,

   When next he sees a ghost

He\’ll grab him by the heels or neck,

   In spite of rails or post.


I send this yarn with true intent,

   In hope that you may know

In Nairne there dwells and flourishes

   That brave young miller Joe.[1]


An original poem written by Mr F. Lines in 1877, describing a ghostly incident near Nairne.[2]

Researched by Allen Tiller. 2020

[1] \’DOTTINGS FROM THE DESERT.\’, Bunyip, (24 August 1877), p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article97220329.

[2] \’NAIRNE, AUGUST 27.\’, South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail, (1 September 1877), p. 21., http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90944379