Sonnet on Port Jackson [poem, 2 February 1858]

[Editor: A poem published in The North Australian, Ipswich, and General Advertiser, 2 February 1858.]

Sonnet on Port Jackson.

Fair haven of Sydney, thy waters are bright,
Thy emerald banks are reflected in light,
Fairy cottages peep from sheltering bowers,
Rich gardens encompass thy vice-regal towers;
Around thee a conclave of islands is set,
Like sentries of ages, to guard thy retreat;
Surpassingly grand is each wind-beaten height —
Now bath’d in the sunshine, now black as the night;
Thy bold craggy rocks stretch aloft to the sky
To add to thy waters the clouds as they fly;
Nor fails the near ocean to answer the roar
Of thy forest-born echoes along the dark shore.
Thus, the wind o’er the bleak heads, the wave of the sea,
Thro’ thy woods and thy glens make music for thee
Every season adorns thee, each change of the tide
Wafts o’er thy bosom brave barques as thy glide.
Fair land of Australia, what lack’st thou to be
The home of the heart to my children and me?
The bold sons of freedom who toil at the plough
Bear labour’s reward well stamped on the brow,
And many who sought thee all tattered and bare
Found hunger and hardship banished, with care.
Thy young men all beam with intelligence bright,
Thy maidens possess all the charms to delight,
And the doors of each mansion or cottage abode
Are opened with freedom for worship of God.
All hail, then, Australia, and be unto me
The fair land of promise, the joyous and free.
God grant thee an end to the ills thou hast borne,
A smile for each tear, a rose for each thorn.

C. F. C.


[We regret to note this change for the worse, the emerald banks of the second line becomes dark shores in the twelfth. — Ed. N. A.]

The North Australian, Ipswich, and General Advertiser (Ipswich, Qld.), 2 February 1858, p. 4

Editor’s notes:
barque = (also spelt “bark”) a small sailing ship in general, or specifically a sailing ship with three (or more) masts, in which the aftmost mast is fore-and-aft rigged, whilst the other masts are square-rigged

fairy = diminutive, small, or tiny (a meaning derived from the fairy race who appear in European mythology: supernatural beings who possess magical powers and who are human-like in form, although they are usually depicted as being very tiny and possessing wings)

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