[I Saw on a Rock] [poem, 1 December 1825]

[Editor: An untitled poem, published in The Australian, 1 December 1825.]

Original Poetry.

For the Australian.

I saw on a rock, which the green wave was beating,
A spirit of light from the realms of the blest;
And void, as the wave rushing on and retreating,
Was the soul of that beautiful spirit of rest.
By the pure robe of white which her beauty unshrouded,
And the tears which enriched the rude breast of the sea,
I hail’d blessed liberty’s brow — tho’ ’twas clouded,
And shaded in sorrow, Australia, for thee!

“Land of Hope,” (she exclaimed), “though as yet I forsake thee,
(And the cloud from her brow stole away as she spoke),
I fly to my home, a rich garland to make thee,
To gird thee around, when thy fetters are broke.
I weep for thee now — but, a day shall yet waken
Thy children of sorrow to gladness and bliss,
When the chains from the hearts of the bold shall be shaken,
And freedom repay thee — for hours such as this.

Farewell, sweet Australia — in tears I now leave thee —
In tears — such as never I shed until now;
But, wherever I roam, land of promise, believe me,
The spirit of freedom forsakes not its vow.
The tears I now shed, shall but serve to remind me
Of my vow before heaven — that thou shalt be free;
And the banner, the gods in their bounty consign’d me,
Shall wave in its triumph — Australia, on Thee.”

J. R. M.

The Australian (Sydney, NSW), 1 December 1825, p. 3

[Editor: Placed an opening quotation mark before “though as yet”.]

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