George Essex Evans

(18 June 1863 – 10 November 1909 / London, England)

Australia


Earth's mightiest isle. She stands alone.
The wide seas wash around Her throne,
Crowned by the red sun as his own.
This is the last of all the lands
Where Freedom’s fray-torn banner stands,
Not wrested yet from freemen’s hands.

The world’s gray page lies bare to-day—
The rise of nations—the decay.
Will She, too, rise—and fall as they?

She called men to Her, and they came,
Whose deaths have given the Desert name.
Their fame is written with Her fame.

We toil and strive. We have our hour.
But She shall grow from power to power,
To wear the splendour of her dower.

The trust is ours—to us alone.
We are the strong foundation-stone,
The seed from which the flower is grown.

And whilst a realm in fee we hold,
To guard the New against the Old,
Nor take the glitter for the gold,

What shall it profit Her if we
Make gold our God, and strength our plea,
And call wild license Liberty?

If, in our scorn of creed and king,
All reverence to the winds we fling,
And fall before a baser thing?

Though in Her coming hour of pride
Her millions throng the Desert wide,
Her cities stud the water side?

What though Her sword unconquered be,
Her armoured navies sweep the sea,
If still Her people are not free?

To be the wave of thought indeed
From New World vaunt and Old World need,
To manlier day and mightier deed?

To be a people proved and strong—
True freemen of the Poet’s song
For whom the world has waited long?

Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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