Battle Hymn of the New Australia [poem by Grant Hervey]

[Editor: This poem by Grant Hervey was published in Australians Yet and Other Verses, 1913.]

Battle Hymn of the New Australia

Sail on, O mighty Land — ship of Democracy,
All-precious is thy freight, ’tis not the Present only;
Mankind is marching on — its best shall march with thee
When hoary lands and old at last have fallen pronely !
Strange seas thou hast to keel, beneath the gleaming stars
Thy sons shall bravely steer o’er stormy deeps uncharted ;
Across the pathless years, with skyward reaching spars,
Thy children strong shall thrust — thy sons all Titan-hearted !
The dark typhoon shall rage, the lurid clouds of war
Up from the glooming East shall drive, O land, o’erwhelming ;
But we shall bring thee through, shall bring thee to the shore,
We are thy faithful sons — our hands shall do the helmning !
Come stormy days or fine, come raging iron hail,
Thy sons shall man the yards — shall swing thee thro’ the surges ;
All ocean’s winds may blow, and wild may come the gale —
Thy Flag serene shall fly whilst our red blood swift urges !

Not for thyself alone — for victories to come,
For liberty of law, for truth, O land, and justice ;
Thy guns for these shall boom — we’ll beat Australia’s drum
When piled on Europe’s head the ages’ silent dust is !
Thine is the White Man’s Cause, for him thy battle-flag —
O standard splashed with stars, I see it floating bravely ;
The shot may pierce its folds, may tear that flaunting rag —
Our song shall thunder still, our anthem pealing gravely !
Song of the noble land — Australia shining new,
Voice of the flashing sea, of mountain-head and valley ;
O land of toilers stern, of children brave and true,
When its majestic chords sweep forth our hearts shall rally !
When with our smoking guns we face Australia’s foe,
Thy voice our hearts shall stir — O voice all pure and tender ;
We’ll hail our sacred land the day we doomward go —
Our own Australian Home, our land of deathless splendour !

Thy sacerdotal bards, thy cannoneers of song,
Their hymns shall raise of thee, O continent of glories ;
Thy message they shall breathe — thy message brave and strong,
I hear thy spirit’s voice where each sea-hammered shore is !
Thy psalm of destiny, glad chant of coming days —
I hear it in each wave on thy cliff-bases falling ;
It thunders in the storm — yea, round thy capes and bays,
Australia’s battle-hymn — thy voice, O mother, calling !
O lustrous land and dear, land of the larger creed —
Land of the vision new, hear’st thou thy children hailing ?
They stand erect and strong, they are thy stalwart breed —
With thee they bravely go, O ship-soul proudly sailing !
We are thy lovers all — be guarded with our steel,
Our blood we proffer thee, our strength and heart’s devotion ;
This is our common prayer : God save the Commonweal —
From each true heart it swings like some star-surging ocean !

Grant Hervey. Australians Yet and Other Verses, Thomas C. Lothian, Melbourne, 1913, pages 195-198

Speak Your Mind