Home ! [poem by Grant Hervey]

[Editor: This poem by Grant Hervey was published in Australians Yet and Other Verses, 1913.]

Home !

There’s a New Land — ’tis a true Land, Home we raise with axe and harrow,
Fields we plough with shining coulters and with mold-boards thrusting free :
Reaping harvests, rich and golden, by the strength of spinal marrow —
Few the eyes that turn regretful towards the Old Lands over-sea !
Dread dominions, whence our fathers fled in years of bitter sorrow —
Now we labour for the Future, and by forge and furnace-glow
Men shall know that We are striving for the Harvests of To-morrow —
Home is here, and wisdom bids us let the old Delusions go !

There’s a Lone Land — ’tis our own Land, hear it calling for our service,
While the clang of mill and dockyard thunders loud from over-sea ;
Are ye working ? Are ye helping ? — Combat-thrilled each vibrant nerve is :
Are ye fighting for Australia with the axe-blade swinging free ?
’Tis a Land that calls for Builders — ye may serve in Toil’s apparel,
And the Man Behind the Anvil beats as well the Nation’s drum ;
Yea, the Hand that Drives the Furrow also grips the rifle-barrel,
And prepares a Home Worth Having for the Children Yet to Come !

There’s a White Land — ’tis a bright Land, filled with light and glowing shadow —
Land of gladness, Land of glory, turning ship-wise to the sea ;
Home of all that lifts and lightens — ’tis the White Man’s El Dorado,
Where the withes of vain tradition break and leave a people free !
Morn and noon and gleaming sunset times are these, methinks, for prayer —
Prayers all-thankful for the guerdon of our priceless Commonweal ;
Work is worship, life means labour — turning backs upon Despair,
Swing the axe and drive the furrow, gripping hard the stubborn steel !

There’s a Vast Land — hold it fast, Land, hold it firm for Those who Follow,
For the Children — aye, Our Children and the Better Days to Come ;
In the days when belts are tightened, when the cheeks of men grow hollow,
Every heart shall throb an echo to the Nation’s battle-drum !
Every axe-stroke helps to hold it, every anvil, every hammer —
For the Home-Land of the Children, give the best of brain and thew ;
Lord, I hear the clearest anthem where Australians forges clamour,
And the anvils preach with vigour Creeds of Work for Me and You !

Grant Hervey. Australians Yet and Other Verses, Thomas C. Lothian, Melbourne, 1913, pages 156-158

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