Farewell by Mary Hannay Foott

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Respectfully inscribed to Alice Claudine, Lady Norman.

Farewell, dear Lady! Bright the hour
   That brought you; sad that bears away;
Yet --- English fields are all a-flower,
   And English hedgerows sweet with May;
Love there as here shall be your dower ---
   'Tis not for us to bid you stay.

Farewell ! Oh not alone the few
   Familiar friends will miss you here
How excellent soe'er the New   
   Be slow to place another peer
To her whom now they bid adieu ---
   Of all Vice-Queens the one most dear!

Your helpful care the couch has spread
   For suffering babes; angelic toil!
On wounds of women shamed you shed
   Samarian balm of wine and oil;
As Sister, with the scorned broke bread ---
   You, with white raiment free from soil!

And women-hands that toil your hand
   Has touched and strengthened. Mothers tell
Of the sweet Presence, come to stand
   By the new-born, where poor folk dwell,
With generous gifts. Throughout the Land
   Is none but grieves to say Farewell.

Farewell, dear Lady All good things
   Be yours the All-Giver may bestow.
Its folds abroad the Ensign flings;
   The sea-tide swells the river-flow;
The parting cheer around you rings;
   Farewell! God bless you where you go!    

First published in The Queenslander, 18 May 1895

Note: Alice Claudine was the wife of General Sir Henry Wylie Norman, Governor of Queensland 1889-1895.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Old Qld Poetry

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 18, 2012 9:12 AM.

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