Anzacs [poem, 24 April 1944]


Loudly the bugles of England were calling,
Over the seven seas;
Proudly the banners of Britain were waving,
Born on the Southern breeze.
Here, ’neath, her mandates, her sons dwelt in safety
Tilling their golden land.
Heard they the call that the Mother was sending
Forth for a warrior band?

Yea, they were freemen, the freemen of England,
Bone of her very bone.
In vain not she called them, proudly they answered,
“All that is mine is thine own.”
Eager for conflict, the flower of our manhood
Rose at the clarion call,
Little to them, that the first into battle,
Often the first to fall

Many the brave lads they buried at dawning,
Close by the Dardan shore,
Poppies in Flanders their vigils are keeping
By graves of a thousand more.
Still England is England whatever befall,
And now that she calls again,
See how the sons of the Anzacs are coming,
Just as their fathers came.

We’ve builded a shrine to our valiant dead,
Made by the hands of man,
And their deeds we extol in the Book of Fame,
For grateful eyes to scan;
But in the recess of our innermost heart,
When shouting and weeping cease,
Is there hidden the vital eternal spark
They won in the cause of peace?

Yea, we are freemen, the freemen of England!
Bone of their very bone.
And the sun, shall set on the Empire’s flag,
Ere we serve with lips alone.

— Olive Hall.

The Advocate (Burnie, Tas.), Monday 24 April 1944, page 2

[Editor: Corrected “W’eve” to “We’ve”.]

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