Anthony Considine by Banjo Paterson

Anthony Considine by Banjo Paterson

How The Mighty Fall In Anthony Considine

This dramatic ballad explores themes of love, betrayal, and revenge through the tragic downfall of Anthony Considine. Paterson skillfully utilizes evocative imagery, diction, and Australian frontier archetypes to vividly relate this morality tale.

We are introduced to the brooding figure of Considine, a condemned man hiding in the remote Outback to escape retribution for an unspecified crime of passion. Descriptions of his environment as sparse and unforgiving establish the stark, harsh setting.

Paterson deepens the mystery, recounting Considine’s morally compromised love for a married woman. Their transgressive affair forces the lovers into exile at the fringes of society.

Considine’s inner torment is highlighted through the woman’s callous betrayal, as she brazenly flaunts her new lover. Paterson deftly pivots the poem from romantic lament to violent confrontation in just two lines of shocking action.

The tragedy of Considine’s passionate nature turned destructive is left ambiguous. Paterson concludes by returning to the image of the lone fugitive, now defined by his fatal act of vengeance.

By embedding the drama in an unforgiving landscape, Paterson evokes the perils of unchecked emotions and moral compromise. The poem sensitively explores the fine line between righteous anger and murderous rage through an unforgettable Outback morality tale.

Anthony Considine

Out in the wastes of the West countrie,
Out where the white stars shine,
Grim and silent as such men be,
Rideth a man with a history—
Anthony Considine.

For the ways of men they are manifold
As their differing views in life;
Some sell themselves for the lust of gold,
And some for the lust of strife:
But this man counted the world well lost
For the love of his neighbour’s wife.

They fled together, as those must flee
Whom all men hold in blame;
Each to the other must all things be
Who cross the gulf of iniquity
And live in the land of shame.

But a light-o’-love, if she sins with one,
She sinneth with ninety-nine:
The rule holds good since the world begun—
Since ever the streams began to run
And the stars began to shine.
The rule holds still, and he found it true—
Anthony Considine.

A nobler spirit had turned in scorn
From a love that was stained with mire;
A weaker being might mourn and mourn
For the loss of his Heart’s Desire:
But the anger of Anthony Considine
Blazed up like a gaming fire

And she, with her new love, presently
Came past with her eyes ashine;
And God so willed it, and God knows why,
She turned and laughed as they passed him by—
Anthony Considine.

Her laughter stung as a whip might sting;
And mad with his wounded pride
He turned and sprang with a panther’s spring,
And struck at his rival’s side:
And only the woman, shuddering,
Could tell how the dead man died!

She dared not speak—and the mystery
Is buried in auld lang syne,
But out on the wastes of the West countrie,
Grim and silent as such men be,
Rideth a man with a history—
Anthony Considine.

Similar Posts