[Editor: This poem by Marion Miller Knowles, written in support of raising funds for orphanages on Wattle Day, was published in The Advocate (Melbourne, Vic.), 19 August 1926.]
A Plea for Wattle Day.
Written for “The Advocate.”
Little gold heads on the green wattle tree,
Nodding together, all whisperingly,
What are you thinking of there by the creek?
Pretty ones, pretty ones, why don’t you speak?
“We’re thinking of human babes, tiny and lone,
That have no fond mother, no home of their own.
Poor little girls and forlorn little boys
That have many a grief, but so few little joys.
We’re going to help them!” the golden heads say,
“And we’ll soon start our journey to aid Wattle Day.”
“Little golden hearts brimming over with love,
The Angels smile sweetly on you from Above;
Kindly your words, and so tender and true,
But what will the spirits of world-mortals do?”
The little gold hearts open wide to the sun:
“They will pity a child; for our dear Lord was one.
They will think of the day when, all lovingly,
He blessed every little one close to His knee;
Remembering His words, they will gather and say,
“Our hands and our hearts will befriend Wattle Day!!”
O, Mother that clasps to your bosom the child
Whom God gave to cherish and keep undefiled,
Think with a tear, of the children bereft
That once, just as close, to a mother’s heart crept!
That once knew the care you are lavishing now,
And the lullaby croon and the kiss on the brow.
And mothers whose wee ones have gone on before
To the beautiful peace of the Heavenly Shore,
Help children less safe that are struggling to live
In a cold world, a hard world, with no love to give!
— Marion Miller Knowles.
The Advocate (Melbourne, Vic.), 19 August 1926, p. 33
Heavenly Shore = Heaven; the concept of a “Heavenly Shore” is possibly influenced by the idea in Greek mythology of the dead having to cross the River Styx, from one shore to the other, from the Land of the Living to the Land of the Dead
See: 1) Prof. Geller, “River Styx”, Mythology.net
2) “Styx”, Wikipedia
His = in a religious context, and capitalized, a reference to Jesus (it can also be a reference to God in Heaven)
Lord = in a religious context, and capitalized, a reference to Jesus (it can also be a reference to God in Heaven)
wee = little, very small, diminutive, e.g. “the wee child” (the small child), “the wee hours of the morning” (the small hours of the morning, i.e. the early hours of the morning)
world-mortal = a human (plural: “world-mortals”, i.e. humans)
[Editor: Removed quotation mark after “home of their own”.]
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]