Anzacs [poem, 2 May 1916]


In the cheerless dawn of an April morn
Pale stars still lit the sky,
Did the rollers break on Gaba Tepe,
Where sea birds wheel and cry.

The time had come, but no beating drum
Or brazen trumpets blare,
Did the Anzacs go to face the foe
And rouse him from his lair.

In the twilight dim, with faces grim,
Their historic landing made,
Then the Turk awoke and his batteries spoke
With shrapnel the Anzacs sprayed.

Then, our ships’ guns spake — made the heavens quake
As their missles rent the air
On the Turkish flanks in their serried ranks
Our shot did crash and tear.

With a savage yell at that fiery hell
Did the Anzacs leap and run
Through barbed wire and machine gun fire
The first line of trenches won.

Through the whole day long to that awful song
Of screeching shot and shell
Their bayonets played — what a name they made,
Historians will yet proudly tell.

But brave men fell, the long lists tell,
Heroes every one and true,
The whole world stirred, reverent heads were bared,
In tribute, Anzacs, to you.

In years to come, should the rolling drum
Call the babes that are now at breast
Be their motto bright “For God and Right,”
On the Anzacs shield and crest.

— Robert McJannett.

The Queanbeyan Age and the Queanbeyan Observer (Sydney, NSW), Tuesday 2 May 1916, page 3

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