Australasia Mourns Her Honored Dead [poem by Pat Matthews, ca. 1916]

[Editor: A poem commemorating the anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli. It was published on a single sheet of paper (a leaflet, or handbill), undated, but believed to have been published for the first Anzac Day (1916).]

In Memoriam.

Australasia Mourns her Honored Dead.

To our Fallen Heroes on the Anniversary of their Heroic Landing at Gallipoli. Also to commemorate their brave deeds and noble sacrifices on every front in the Sacred Cause of Freedom by Deeds that have written the word Australasia in Deathless Glory on the Scroll of History’s Page.

Australasia mourns her brave young sons,
In freedom’s cause, who fought and fell,
Undaunted by the fiendish Huns,
The flashing steel, the bursting shell.
Heroic, valiant, unafraid,
They fought our motherland to aid,
In the foremost rank on every front
They nobly bore the battle’s brunt,
And proved both true and tried;
For let the odds be what it may,
With pluck superb they’d win the day,
Or gloriously they died.

Australasia mourns her cruel loss,
What God ordains shall ever be;
Our brave young heroes bore their cross,
Like Christ bore His on Calvary,
To break the chains of slavery,
Oppression, hate, and tyranny.
From zone to zone, from pole to pole,
Their names inscribed on history’s scroll;
And there it will abide,
A lasting monument of fame
To immortalise Australasia’s name,
The glorious death they died.

Sadly the pitying Christ looks down
On every hero’s lowly grave,
And grants to each a hallowed crown,
Who died like Him the world to save.
Some sleep ’neath Egypt’s desert sand,
Some on Gallipoli’s rock-bound strand;
Those shell-torn fronts, both east and west,
Their noble sacrifice attest;
And deeds so glorified,
That generations yet to be
Will tell to all posterity
The glorious death they died.

Written by PAT. MATTHEWS

“Australasia Mourns her Honored Dead” (one-sided leaflet), undated [circa 1916?]

Editor’s notes:
Hun = Germans (“Hun” could be used in a singular sense to refer to an individual German, as well as in a collective sense to refer to the German military or to Germans in general) (similar to the usage of “Fritz”)

strand = land bordering a body of water, such as a beach or shore adjoining the sea; less commonly, may also refer to a beach or shore adjoining a lake or river (can also refer to a small brook or rivulet)

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