Moreton Bay

Written about 1835 by Frank MacNamara or Frank the Poet, a pormer convict.


One Sunday morning as I went walking, by Brisbane waters I chanced to stray,

I heard a convict his fate bewailing, as on the sunny river bank he lay:

"I am a native of Erin's island and banished now from my native shore,

They tore me from my aged parents and from the maiden whom I do adore.

"I've been a prisoner at Port Macquarie, at Norfolk Island and Emu Plains,

At Castle Hill and cursed Toongabbie, at all those settlements I've worked in chains;

But of all places of condemnation and penal stations of New South Wales,

To Moreton Bay 1 have found no equal; excessive tyranny each day prevails.

"For three long years I was beastly treated, and heavy irons on my leg I wore;

My back with flogging is lacerated, and often painted with my crimson gore.

And many a man from downright starvation lies mouldering now underneath the clay;

And Captain Logan he had us mangled at the triangles of Moreton Bay.

"Like the Egyptians and the ancient Hebrews we were oppressed under Logan's yoke,

Till a native black lying there in ambush did deal our tyrant with his mortal stroke.

My fellow prisoners, be exhilarated that all such monsters such a death may find,

And when from bondage we are liberated, our former sufferings shall fade from mind"