The Last of the Land by R. Spencer Browne

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A loom of the land with the light of our love on it,
   Fading to gray in the mists of the sea;
Setting, the sun throws a ray from above on it ---
   Sunlight of hope to the heart of the free.

Sombre, the shadow of sight throws a pall on it;
   Fainter its outlines go down on our lee.
Give one last longing, loving look on it,
   Land of our love as it sinks in the sea.

Gray and all gray, with the glint of the moon on it,
   Spreads the great ocean, and south is the star ---
Faintly and sweetly its soft lustres swoon on it,
   Land of our love that is fading afar.

Let that sweet star be our messenger fair to it,
   Beacon of love with a sigh and a tear,
Spirit of comfort to sad hearts out then on it --
   Hearts of our hearts, the most true and most dear.

Then with that thought which we throw to the loom of it,
   Fair Austral land with its mountain and plain,
Take the last sign of the sadness and gloom of it,
   Light of our land in our hearts shines again.

Fresh blows the breeze o'er the sea, and the waves of it
   Dance in tbe moonlight and flash in our wake.
Stand, then, like sentinel, sons of the braves of it,
   Part of the wall that no foeman can shake.

Gone is our land from our sight; but the thought of it
   Strengthens our hearts for the task to be done.
"Steadfast" and "True" are the countersigns wrought of it,
   Wrought for the good of the cause to be won.

First published in The Queenslander, 3 February 1900

Author: Reginald Spencer Browne (1856-1943) was born in Appin, New South Wales, and took to the profession of journalism at an early age.  After working on newspapers in Deniliquin, Albury, Townsville and Cooktown he moved to Brisbane in 1881 to be editor of The Observer.  He moved to The Brisbane Courier the next year and held the position of associate editor of The Queenslander for some years.  Active in the armed services he saw service in South Africa during the Boer War and was at Gallipoli during World War I.  He died in Brisbane in 1943.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 3, 2011 8:23 AM.

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