Nation Builders [poem by George Essex Evans, 20 May 1898]

[Editor: A poem by George Essex Evans.]

Nation Builders.

A handful of workers seeking the star of a strong intent —
A handful of heroes scattered to conquer a continent. —
Thirst and fever and famine, drought, and ruin, and flood,
And the bones that bleach on the sandhill, and the spears that redden with blood;
And the pitiless might of the molten skies at noon on the sun-cracked plain,
And the walls of the northern jungles shall front them ever in vain;
Till the land that lies like a giant asleep shall wake to the victory won.
And the hearts of the Nation Builders shall know that the work is done.

To the North, on the seas of summer, where the pearl flotillas swim,
To East, where the axe is ringing in the heart of the ranges grim;
On the plains, where the free wind bloweth by never a tree or shrub,
On the pine-topped slopes where the settler carves a home in the tropic scrub;
On fields where the miner sleeps unstirred by the ceaseless monotone,
And crash of the stampers night and day at work on the milk-white stone;
’Tis war and stress with never a pause to mourn for a stout heart gone,
Till the souls of the Nation Builders shall know that the work is done.”

George Essex Evans.

The Colac Herald (Colac, Vic.), Friday 20 May 1898, page 7

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