[Editor: A poem published in The Capricornian, 20 April 1907.]
There comes along the ether waves
Where’er the southern cross holds sway,
A voice, that for our nation craves
The dawning of a wiser day.
(A day, when we as one will rise,
Intent this life of drift to cease,
And build a power ’neath southern skies
That will ensure a lasting peace.)
It comes on morn’s awakening breeze,
O’er scattered homes of dreaming men,
Through midday shades, ’neath mighty trees.
On evening zephyrs through the glen.
It tells of ages, sad and lone;
Of love unborn, of hope deferred,
When wisdom’s light was yet unknown
And savage rites were undeterred.
It tells how Hope’s first gladdening ray,
Came here in hearts in search of fame,
Who turned the Austral night to day,
And claimed this land in England’s name.
And how they vowed in those glad days
To build a nation great and fair;
And now, it mourns our dreamy ways,
Our castles that are built in air.
It chides us for our idle hands,
Our want of thrift, our need of brains,
Our rivers dry, our empty lands,
Our fondness for financial chains.
It dreads a darkening cloud that throws
Great shadows on our northern shore,
And trembles! at the blood that flows,
When “White Australia” is no more.
This voice, it is Australia’s voice,
It thrills through her remotest part;
It’s plaintiveness will not rejoice,
But touch a chord in every heart.
“To work! To work! Australia cries,
To-day is yours! To-day! To-day!
Oh, think of time, how soon it flies!
Toil on! Toil on! While yet you may.
The time will come, the time must come!
When foes will reach across the sea,
And you, in your wide island home,
May then as now, defenceless be.
Arise my sons! Be strong! Be wise!
March with the nations! Keep in line!
But Oh! If you my words despise,
The sun for me will cease to shine.”
The Capricornian (Rockhampton, Qld.), 20 April 1907, p. 8
morn = morning
’neath = beneath
o’er = over (pronounced the same as “oar”, “or”, and “ore”)
[Editor: Corrected “heart’s” to “hearts”.]