[Editor: This poem by William Blocksidge (also known as William Baylebridge) was published in Songs o’ the South (1908).]
To the Southern Cross
Cross of the South, red-centred constellation,
Token of peace, time-pointing land and sea,
What, from the Larger Dog, doth show like thee?
Though, in between, how bright the heaven’s probation!
Dear Emblem! Thou in time shalt see thy nation
Mighty in all its parts; yea, Cross, for we
Shall build on bottom sound and broad and free —
And this demands a passing long duration.
Oft have I watched thee in the silent night,
When all the wondrous harmony that swelled
Dear Nature’s bosom loved thy beaming light.
And thou hast looked on me, and hast beheld,
Sweet Cross, my heart in all its humours dight —
Hast purified its joys, its pain hast quelled.
William Blocksidge, Songs o’ the South, London: Watts, 1908, p. 44
dight = (archaic) to adorn, cloth dress; equip (especially for battle); prepare for use
doth = (archaic) does
hast = (archaic) have
Larger Dog = Canis Major, a constellation in the southern celestial hemisphere (in Latin, “Canis Major” means “greater dog”, distinct from the constellation Canis Minor, which means “lesser dog”)
oft = (archaic) often
shalt = (archaic) shall
thee = (archaic) you
thou = (archaic) you
thy = (archaic) your
yea = yes; indeed; truly; an affirmation (especially an affirmative vote), an indication of assent
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