Works in the Herald 1938

Virtually all shades of opinion in Australia approve of the Federal Government's augmented plans for the defence of this country. It is generally recognised, not only that as a nation we have now attained full stature, but that the easy security through isolation no longer exists in a modern world.

An Arcady when earth was wide,
   When we were young a Lotus Land,
Now must we set our youth aside
And, careless joys of youth denied,
   Set to the sterner task at hand,
And take up, for our ill or good,
The burden of our nationhood.

'Twas pleasant, dreaming in the sun
   Sea-guarded from a world's distress,
To contemplate a task begun
In peace, accepting one by one
   The gifts of all earth's comeliness
While to our paradise remote
War echoed as a far, faint note.

But now the bulwark of our sea
   Fals us; the once wide earth has shrunk;
Distance no more gives guarantee
Of carefree days in Arcady
   To those who have too deeply drunk
At Lethe's stream when youth has gone.
Now must we gird our harness on.

A wistful sigh for tales half told
   In dreams half dreamed beneath the sun,
A man's work waits if we would hold
Youth's heritage; now we grow old
   No more in ease may gifts be won,
Our sanctuary is overthrown,
For weal or woe our youth has flown.

Herald, 1 April 1938, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2011