William Charles Wentworth

(1790 - 1872 / Australia)

Australasia


Celestial poesy! whose genial sway
Earth's furthest habitable shores obey;
Whose inspirations shed their sacred light,
Far as the regions of the Arctic night,
And to the Laplander his Boreal gleam
Endear not less than Phoebus' brighter beam, --
Descend thou also on my native land,
And on some mountain-summit take thy stand;
Thence issuing soon a purer font be seen
Than charmed Castalia or famed Hippocrene;
And there a richer, nobler fane arise,
Than on Parnassus met the adoring eyes.
And tho', bright goddess, on the far blue hills,
That pour their thousand swift pellucid rills
Where Warragamba's rage has rent in twain
Opposing mountains, thundering to the plain,
No child of song has yet invoked thy aid
'Neath their primeval solitary shade, --
Still, gracious Pow'r, some kindling soul inspire,
To wake to life my country's unknown lyre,
That from creation's date has slumbering lain,
Or only breathed some savage uncouth strain;
And grant that yet an Austral Milton's song
Pactolus-like flow deep and rich along, --
An Austral Shakespeare rise, whose living page
To nature true may charm in ev'ry age; --
And that an Austral Pindar daring soar,
Where not the Theban eagle reach'd before.
And, O Britannia! shouldst thou cease to ride
Despotic Empress of old Ocean's tide; --
Should thy tamed Lion -- spent his former might, --
No longer roar the terror of the fight; --
Should e'er arrive that dark disastrous hour,
When bow'd by luxury, thou yield'st to pow'r; --
When thou, no longer freest of the free,
To some proud victor bend'st the vanquish'd knee; --
May all thy glories in another sphere
Relume, and shine more brightly still than here;
May this, thy last-born infant, then arise,
To glad thy heart and greet thy parent eyes;
And Australasia float, with flag unfurl'd,
A new Britannia in another world.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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