The earth, the old familiar earth
That I have trod so long,
Stepping with cheeriness and mirth
Among a friendly throng.
This earth is of a sudden made
A hallowed place to me
By the dear dead within it laid
In quiet majesty.
Oh! dear familiar earth with rich
Green mantle overspread,
Hold gently in his narrow niche
My own beloved dead.
Oh! dear familiar earth, bestrew
Thy verdure where he lies,
And let some sweet wild blossoms through
To link him with the skies.
And let the wind, with tireless tone
In blast, or balmiest air
Chant a Te Deum of its own,
A never-ending prayer.
To thee, oh! Mother Earth, to thee
And thy great heart I give
This dear dust that is part of me,
That lit the life I live.
His dust to thee I give, yet turn
From thy kind, sheltering sod
And, through his risen soul discern
With clearer eyes, my God.
Agnes L. Storrie. Poems, J. W. Kettlewell, Sydney, 1909, pages 115-116
bestrew = to cover something with objects; to strew (to cover or spread by scattering) objects over something
Te Deum = a Christian hymn, “Te Deum” is used in the Roman Catholic Church (believed to have been written by Saint Nicetas in the fourth century); the name of the hymn is taken from its opening words, in Latin, “Te Deum laudamus”, rendered as “Thee, O God, we praise”
verdure = the lush greenness of flourishing and healthy vegetation
[Editor: Corrected “familar” to “familiar”.]