To the Ironbark by Maybanke Anderson

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   We'll sing a song for the Ironbark,
   The tree of the land we love.
His skin is tough, but his heart is true,
Winter and summer the whole year through,
In morning sun and evening dew,
He waves green leaves to the azure blue,
   The brave old tree of Australia.

   A sturdy gift was the Ironbark
   To the men who built Australia.
Walls and roof for the homes they made,
While the billy boiled and the children played,
Rest and peace in the leafy shade,
Love of the gum tree ne'er shall fade
   From the mem'ry of Australia.    

   The oriole sits near her pendant nest
   On the fringe of the Ironbark,
Watches the teams that come and go,
While the bush she loves, and the trees lie low,
Sees the men with the plough walk to and fro,
And homes and orchards and wheat fields grow,
   In her own green home, Australia.

   Like her, we'll sing to the Ironbark,
   The tree of our native land,
When the aisles of the bush are dim and cold,
When banners of mist each arch enfold,  
While the moon draws patterns of faded gold
His vigil he keeps like a knight of old,
   The gallant tree of Australia.  

   No tree so brave as the Ironbark,  
   No other land can claim him,.  
When skies are dark, and the wind's a gale,
He laughs at the clouds as they hurrying sail.
For naught cares he come storm, come hail,  
A warrior king in a coat of mail,
   The Ironbark of Australia.

   Then stand we firm like the Ironbark,
   The tree of the land we love.
From the good brown earth to the sunlit air,  
Whether the wind blow foul or fair
Beauty and service and love we'll share
With the tree of a land beyond compare --
   The land of our hope, Australia.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 November 1926

Author: Maybanke Susannah Anderson (1845-1927) was born in Surrey, England, and arrived in Sydney with her parents in 1855. A disastrous first marriage forced Anderson to support herself and her family by opening a school in the 1880s, Maybanke College.  Anderson was active in early feminist politics in Australia and in 1894 she began the feminist newspaper Woman's Voice.  A successful second marriage to philosophy professor Sir Francis Anderson followed.  She died while on tour in Europe in 1927.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 6, 2012 9:16 PM.

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