Where a goodly king would rule,
With a house of books at the palace gate
And a little white-walled school.
There trees would grow before the wall
And flowers about the trees;
And the queen would go in cap and shawl
To tend her hens and bees.
A wheel would spin at an open door
And a loom would click near by;
And a man of might at the threshing floor
Would make the white chaff fly.
There would be sheep on the hills above
And corn in the fields below;
And each would have room to seek and love
The thing that was good to know.
The king would go out with a team to plough
And a prince would harrow the soil;
And a statesman come with a thoughtful brow
And a spade for his daily toil.
And one would draw a fiddle-bow
And one would make a song;
And a man and a maid would softly go
In the dusk and think no wrong.
The boys at their play would run and shout
And the girls dance round in a ring;
And a father-thought would wrap them about
And a mother-thought would sing
To their brave hearts always in shine or shade,
Till the youngest child must know
How the dimpled fairy steps have made
The path where their feet may go.
There would be pride in the walk of the king
And pride in the craftsman's hand;
And all the wealth that the years could bring
Would lie in the sweet of the land.
Fine green words would the tall trees say
Below the moon and the sun;
And a man would bless the shining day
For joy of his work begun.
Out of the treasure of written books
And the magic of spoken song
Would the people gather their golden looks
From a dream that was fine and long;
And laughter would blow like a merry wind
To ruffle the thoughts of men;
For the breathing soil would be very kind
And kinder the breathing pen.
And there would we sing God save the King
And the royal race he bore,
While the good earth's tribute we loved to bring
And lay at his palace door.
The word that he spoke would be our word,
And his fear would be our fear;
And the land would whiten to one keen sword
If the step of the foe drew near.
First published in The Bulletin, 18 July 1918
Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography