A Song for Pioneers by C. J. Dennis

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The youth of a man have I known,
   And the youth of a land.
I have witnessed a wilderness sown,
   And a destiny planned.
The labor of stout pioneers
   It was mine to behold,
And the harvest that came with the years.
   And now I grow old.

And whatever for me lies before---
   Disillusion or bliss--
No future that fate has in store
   Can rob me of this:
I have dreamed and known dreaming come true;
   I have earned, I have spent;
I have watched a race grow as I grew;
   And I am content.

No land may for ever keep young,
   Or a nation apart;
When the songs of its youth have been sung,
   Change comes to its heart.
In the welter of war have we groaned,
   And in sorrows untold,
For the sins of an old world atoned;
   And our land has grown old.

All men for no more than a span
   Toil, dream and are gone;
For kind death is gentle with man;
   But a nation lives on.
And if we have built truly and well
   For this great continent,   
As the men who come after shall tell,
   Let us keep our content.

First published in The Herald, 21 May 1931;
and later in
Advertiser and Register, 23 May 1931.

Author reference sites: C.J. Dennis, Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 21, 2011 11:42 AM.

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