[Editor: About the life of Philip Durham Lorimer.]
Death of a bush poet.
Mr. Philip D. Lorimer, whose death was announced on Friday (says Monday’s “S. D. Telegraph”), was known right through the country and Queensland and Victoria as “the Australian bush poet.”
“Old Phil,” as he was called, was known to pretty well every country newspaper office in New South Wales. And his poetry, published in nearly all the provincial papers, secured him an audience that more ambitious versifiers might envy.
He led a romantic, roaming life. When he was tired of hawking his poetic wares from one country town to another, he betook himself to an exclusive cave near Bowenfels, and rested there for weeks.
The deceased was a son of Dr. Lorimer, of the East India Company’s service, and was educated at Edinburgh University. One of his brothers-in-law left £50,000 to a colonial university, and his sister owns one of the wealthiest Glasgow papers.
The old man went with M’Intyre’s expedition to look for Leichhardt, and when McIntyre, and then Slowman, died on the journey, Lorimer was appointed leader, and brought the expedition back to Port Denison.
He had many strange experiences of the bushranging days in his walks from the seaboard of New South Wales to the seaboard of Queensland, and he related a pathetic incident in the life of Kendall and Adam Lindsay Gordon. Kendall and Lorimer met Gordon one day in Melbourne, and after sharing their fortunes they parted, Gordon going out to Brighton, and Kendall and Lorimer passing the night in the Dandenong Cemetery. That night Kendall wrote “Voices through the Oaks.” Next morning they were surprised to hear the newsboys calling out, “Death of Gordon, the poet.” A day or two after a letter came for Gordon, stating that he had been left £30,000.
These are experiences which Lorimer himself furnished before his death.
The Brisbane Courier (Brisbane, Qld.), Wednesday 17 November 1897, page 4
S. D. Telegraph = Sydney Daily Telegraph [see: The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld.), Friday 19 November 1897, page 5]