Works in the Herald 1928
"Peace hath her victories" .... Not where the reek--
   Of battle rises and, in blind, brute hate,    
Men for the lives of men insanely seek: 
   Not here do nations earn an honored fate;         
But where men, striving with a mightier foe,                  
   Win on to nobler, mightier victories, 
Blessing the nations that in peace may know  
   Such sons as these.  

Peace hath her victories ; yet knows defeat    
   When, fat with ease and drugged by tranquil days,  
Australia's sons stray upon errant feet
   Led by false prophets into devious ways.
Then the heart sickens and the nation quails
   To learn the measure of man's vanities;  
Till hope again glows to the glorious tales    
   Of men like these.

Now come the conquerors! Not in the guise      
   Of slayers but life-givers to the earth; 
For in their valiant battles with the skies                
   Has man's ambition come to newer birth,     
To wider vision till he understands--
   Forgetting petty spites and jealousies--     
Australia's greatness lies there in the hands             
   Of men like these.

They come in triumph wheeling from on high,    
   Kings of the air and conquerors of space          
Who found, twixt angry sea and angrier sky,          
   A vision and an ideal for their race;
Until, inspired, a wakened nation feels
   New vigor; and a contrite nation sees 
Folly and sloth bound to the chariot wheels
   Of men like these.  

Peace may not last; clear skies may yet grow grey.   
   Anzacs and seed of Anzacs! Carry on!          
Who be there else to guard against the day               
   We, or our children, yet may look upon--
That fateful day when, stricken to the sod,    
   Yet rising still unconquered to her knees       
Australia shall know cause to thank her God
   For men like these.    

Herald, 13 June 1928 and Cairns Post, 6 July 1928, p4

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2010