Australia by Henry Halloran

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It is not that our heaven is bright
With stars, which through the fragrant night,
Shine, like uncounted worshippers
Of the great Source of Light.

It is not that our balmy air
Makes it a vital joy, to share
In the sweet breathing of the hills,     
As of a world in prayer;--  

It is not that our valleys hold
The means of life, for manifold
And various creatures-man and beast--
Or the red-treasured gold;--  

It is not that rapt Beauty seems,
As in a world of fairy dreams,
To mould the Daughters of the land
For bards' and painters' themes;--    

Nor that our sons, would they disdain
The soul-corroding thirst of gain,
And look on glory, as on heaven,
Would never look in vain;

That we this favoured land should prize,
Or walk with proud and grateful eyes,
Blessing the Great All-Bountiful
For this new Paradise;

But for a guerdon, free from ill,
That we, with just and righteous will,
May frame a state of things to win--
The Soul of Freedom still;

That far above, the clamorous cry
Of an insane Democracy,--
Or Tyranny, more monstrous still,--
Utopia may try;

May so adjust the wheels and weights,
And balance all the mixed estates,
That each shall share with equal pride,
The freedom that elates;--

That makes man, with an upright heart,
Take in the world his lofty part,--
The Christian walking through the flames,
And dreading not the dart!  

Oh, God ! if one, a castaway
From hope-almost from heaven-may pray;
His first, his last, one prayer would be
From morn to evening grey,--

That his adopted land may be,
Great in her glory-wise and free--
God-fearing, just, and terrible
Alike by land and sea.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 May 1864

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 7, 2012 8:57 AM.

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