[Editor: A poem published in The South Bourke & Mornington Journal, 22 February 1882.]
Australia, oh Australia, the beautiful the free,
There is no land beneath the sun I love as well as thee:—
T’was in Australia’s sunny clime I first did see the light,
And ’mongst the hills and valleys I passed my boyhood bright.
How well in fancy’s eye I see the place where I was born,
Beset around with little farms and fields of waving corn;
How well remembered is the spot on which we oft did meet
To have a game of “fox and hounds,” or ramble through the street.
And then there comes the village school and all its little woes,
But to each other now are dear who then were mortal foes;
And we love to get together, of bygone years to talk,
When Peter, Harry, Ted, and Mick were lions of the walk.
Another shadow comes along, I see its solemn look,
And polished brow and kindly eye as pictured in a book;
It is the master of the school, a man beloved by all,
A man of wisdom, love, and truth, attentive to his call.
And now I think of Christmas, with all the joys it brings,
Though many years have passed away still to it my heart clings;
And I have often wished them back, the good old Christmas tides,
But Father Time will not return and onward still he strides.
And since I left my native place, what changes has it seen,
How altered too is many a one who sported on its green;
Some of the friends of early youth have gone to their last rest,
And some are struggling still through life, tost on its billowy breast.
The South Bourke & Mornington Journal (Richmond, Vic.), 22 February 1882, p. 3
tost = an alternative spelling of “tossed”
[Editor: Corrected “seem” to “seen”.]