Sir Henry Parkes

(1815 - 1896 / Australia)

Stanzas


Up go the beautiful and world-watch'd stars,
Lifting the glory of America,
'Mong the red flags which gleam through masts
and spars
Crowded in gay magnificence, to-day,
Where three score years ago, none found their way,
Of all the ships which left old England's shore:
Up goes the starry flag, on waves which lay
In undiscover'd solitude, when o'er
America those stars first glanc'd from fields of gore!

In friendly beauty floats that free-fix'd flag
'Gainst England's glowing ensign! I could dream
Of times, when the wild bush, each uncouth crag,
And precipice, beside this haven-stream,
Shall yield to one vast city; and the gleam
Of new-born banners shall illumine it;
And these alike be foreign in the beam
Of Australasia's morning. Heaven admit
One patriot spirit here, and Freedom's fires are lit!

Not ever shall the exile's toil be all
To bring the harvest of this infant land;
The children of the buried exile shall
Behold a mother's beauty, in the bland
Aspect of Nature, on their native strand:
And Freedom then shall choose a dwelling here.
Oh! Happy epoch, when the 'great and grand,'
The memory of whose deeds mankind revere,
Number a Washington, from the world's Austral sphere.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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