[Editor: This poem by Ethel Brown Jackson was published in The Ballarat Star (Ballarat, Vic.), 1 January 1901.]
The Australian Commonwealth.
Truly we be one people all,
Now join we hands as one,
In union strong to glory great,
So shall our race be run.
Man’s lines may not divide our life,
Nor yet the ocean roll.
Man’s words may not unite our life,
But soul that cleaves to soul.
The Northern wave, mid coral isles,
That croons its ocean song,
Shall whisper of brotherhood
Tasmania’s shores along.
The wind that fans the Golden West
Shall sweep the desert drear,
And over Eastern hills and dales
Bespeak a brother near.
Though bright the record of the past,
There dawns a brighter day,
If true to God and brother-man
We head the untried way.
Of hardship let the craven speak,
We scorn each petty loss,
And see the good of all who dwell
Beneath the Southern Cross.
The dwellers by the Tropic wave
Shall yield their passionate thought,
The South shall bring its hardihood
Of daily struggle wrought.
And each shall of the other learn
The best that man may be,
Till these fair Austral lands shall know
A people great and free.
To aid the weak, the fallen raise,
Her peaceful pursuit be;
Shrine of all high and noble thought,
Home of true liberty.
And, should the future call her sons
To face the cannon’s mouth,
Shoulder to shoulder, guard they will
Our fair and Sunny South.
Heirs of a glorious history,
Bound by a common speech,
We pledge our hands, our hearts, to learn
The lessons these would teach.
And closer draw each bond, that this
Most blest, most favored land,
For Right and Truth, for God and man,
Unitedly may stand.
— ETHEL BROWN JACKSON.
The Ballarat Star (Ballarat, Vic.), 1 January 1901, p. 6
Austral = of or relating to Australia or Australasia; Australian, Australasian; an abbreviation of Australia, Australian, Australasia, Australasian; in a wider context, of or relating to the southern hemisphere; southern, especially a southern wind
cleave = to adhere, attach, cling, or stick, to someone or something; to be emotionally devoted to someone; to adhere, or follow loyally and unwaveringly, to a person or cause (can also mean to split, part, or divide, such as by a cutting blow by an axe or sword, especially along a natural line of division, such as along a grain line in a piece of wood; to cut off or sever; to forcefully pass through or penetrate, such as through air, forest, water)
mid = an abbreviation of “amid” or “amidst”: of or in the middle of an area, group, position, etc.