Australia in France by Mabel Forrest

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The Germans had our range. We were sitting round in a shell hole. We all expected to "go up" before morning. We sang: "Australia Will Be There." . . . There seemed nothing else to do. - Extract from a Sydney lad's letter from France.

The Huns were pouring fiery death; we had to sit and wait.
We might "go west" any minute, for night opened wide the gate.
We thought of Sydney's wooded hills, the harbour blue and fair,
And we huddled in the crater, for "Australia will be there."

Little red roofs out at Mosman and the lilac of the bays;
And the Heads with foamy fringes and the shifting lighthouse rays:
The shoreward lamps: the ferry-boats that quivering reflex cast --
We knew, although to-night we die -- one memory held fast.

Whatever waited for us when we shuffled off the coil,
Those things were living legacies no German guns can spoil.
'Twas our certain bit of heaven, when hell shrieked the whole night thro';
So they tossed with Death for Honour's sake -- what else can such men do?

First published in The Sydney Mail, 28 November 1917

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 28, 2014 8:33 AM.

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