Saturday, December 1, 2007


Before Anzac, April 25, 1915

The plash of the salt waves awash phosphorescent,
The outlines of hills grim and mystic grey,
The hush of the dawn ere the night curtain vanish
And morn brings the light of the flame-laden day.

The wave-bitten stretch of the grey sandy beaches,
The beaches of Anzac the foreshores of death,
The blood of a thousand of braves soon to bleach them,
The foretaste of hell in the shells fiery breath

Dark looming hills whether death lurks behind them,
or whether life waits me with garlands of fame;
How can I banish the scenes of remembrance,
The dear tender thoughts of a much-cherished name?

Duty and danger call me from the darkness
the hour of my baptism fiery draws nigh;
I wonder and dream whether destiny waits me
With kisses of welcome or one brief good-bye.

memory sings saftly and croons of Australia,
Songs of my home in the Southern sea set,
Home and remembrance, the land of my fathers,
Scenes loved and lost to me can I forget?

Flame of the watlle , the fire of the forest,
The scent of the woodbine and songs of the birds,
Incense of blossom from trees all a-flower,
The tinkle of bells from the wandering herds.

Carols of Magpies when dawn is a-quiver,
The outlines of trees gaunt and ring-barked and dead,
Flash of the waratah blooming in glory,
The click of the parakeets' flight overhead.

Glipse of the waterfowl feeding and playing
Over the face of the sleeping lagoon,
Glint of the beams opalescent and gleaming,
Silver shafts hurled from the young crescent moon.

One little home in the midst of the fallow,
the grass stringing green to the wooing of spring,
The green of the lucerne, the fruit trees in blossom,
My home way down under how memories cling.

Ah, whether I perish or whether I follow
The scenes of the chapter of blood to the last,
My soul will dwell eager to time without ending
On dearly loved days that are banished and past.

And now I make ready for death or his master,
This though as the moments in flight hurry by,
If I live, 'tis my privilege all for my country,
For Australia to live, for Australia to die.

Off Anzac, April 1915

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