Saturday, December 1, 2007

In Exile

Australia, my Australia, should e’er it be my lot
To live in distant exile in lands that love thee not,
Through all the days that follow the dreary yearning years
The music of thy medodies will echo in my ears,
The voice of bushlands whispering, the glipse of moss-strewn dell,
The flowers on thy mountain side, more dear than asphodel,
The bowers of fern and heather by which the springtime waits
And sets her myriad gems ashine within thy wave-washed gates,
The flashing fire of wattle trees in league-long rows will rise,
The glory of thy hill and plain will spring tp cheer my eyes,
Their rosaries of blossom, the insense of its fire,
The perfume of its yellow beads, the breath of my desire.

September o’er your kindly face will strew the gifts of spring
With sweet boronia scent and flower and wild clematis fling
With lavish hand. On sunlit slopes the trembling dew-kissed leves
Will steal the tints from sunset clouds and red gold from the sheaves;
Will fill your ears with melodies and twittering songs of birds,
Soft rippling of the water pools where drink the milking herds.

Ah, I will see thee forever, September at its best,
Thy songs and melodies of spring in flowery verdure drest,
O keep thy kiss, my country, thy smiling mother face,
For those who love and leave thee and find no better place,
For those in distant exile who dare the hand of Fate,
To keep thy well-loved honour and homes inviolate.
I ask no more, Australia, my dear loved native isle,
Than this my longing hallows, the welcoming of thy smile.

Lemnos, October 1915

No comments: