Saturday, December 1, 2007


Gippsland, Victoria
Here where the goddess of peace and quiet
And muses all from the place have fled
Men distraught in their hate run riot,
And gibbering death is crowned head,
Nightfall gathers her armies sable
Her screed has little but hate to show
There comes to my mind like an oft told fable
My castle a dwelling by Lindenow

When night is full of the red deaths screaming
Maddend by slaughter a fiend accurst
His altar fires in the shell-burst’s gleaming
Paeans of lust in the shrapnel-burst
Above the roar and the smoke of battle
I can see the Mitcell, and sweet and low
I can hear the call of the roaming cattle
In the homestead paddocks by Lindenow

Where the sun’s las rays in their dying quiver
Gild the fronds of the drifting sedge
Spear-shafts hurled to the silver river
Through willow trees at the water’s edge,
Shadows deep on the waters swinging
To and fro in the Mitchells flow
Soft the breeze through the gaunt trees singing
Over the clearing to Lindenow

Water link from the Baw Baw’s falling
Winding down to the ocean’s breast
By fer-decked bowers where bell-birds calling
Sing good-nght to the tinted west
Clear through the blffs and rocky ledges
Or flats as rich as the Mitchell know
Of springing maize in its soft green wedges
Riverward pointing by Lindenow

Here where the virgin-clad spring weather
Kindled the wattle tree’ lambent fire,
Songs of birds and the flashing feather,
Life the end of the path desire.
And now to-night I can sit and listen
And hear the song of the Mitchell’s flow,
Catch the glint as the moonbeams glisten
On her smooth broad bosom by Lindenow

See the smoke from the homestead lifting,
The blinking eyesof its lamps ashine,
Hear the rune of the horse-bells drifting,
The low soft call of the browsing kine,
The clingiing scent of the La france roses
Drifting down on the night wind sough-
I hearken and gaze and my heart reposes
While memory lingers by Lindenow.

If the clinging folds of the ancient Reaper
Cover me close to the Earh’s warm breast,
Then shall nonour be my souls keeper,
Duty contented will bless my rest.
If freedom of flight to my soul be given,
I know of a surety I must go
To the nearest approach that I know to Heaven,
Home Australia, and Lindenow

ANZAC, June 1915

No comments: