The Winnowing by Will M. Fleming

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The new-crowned Queen looked out across the seas,
Her tresses fanned by springtime scented breeze,
Her shell-pink feet upon her golden sands,
A rainbow-tinted hour-glass in her hands.

A whisper creeping midst the listening throng,
Like some false measure breathing through a song,
Catches her ear and tarnishes her pride,
"The breath of doubt! My people will divide.

"Those who hate England with such bitter hate
As blurs all judgment; those who fear their fate;
Those who would creep as menials through life
Rather than win as men their way through strife.

"Who, petulant, beside the highways lie
And watch the busy stream of life go by;
To whose glazed eyes a dragon fly anear
Is greater than an eagle high and clear.

"Those, for such be, I call not. These I call:
Who for my honour would lay down their all,
Who see their duty, in whose hearts there lives
Something of thanks for all that England gives.

"Who, now, will keep my shores inviolate
And stay the murderer ere it be too late?
Life, treasure, all I claim, swiftly decide.
Who hesitates? My people will divide."

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 October 1916

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 10, 2011 7:34 AM.

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