Resource Sheet 2

Ode to Commonwealth day

by George Essex Evans (extracts)

Free-born of Nations, Virgin white,
Not won by blood, nor ringed with steel,
Thy throne is on a loftier height,
Deep-rooted in the Commonweal!
O Thou, for whom the strong have wrought,
And poets sung with souls aflame,
Born of long hope and patient thought,
A mighty name—
We pledged thee faith that shall not swerve,
Our Land, Our Lady, breathing high.
The thought that makes it love to serve,
And life to die!

Now are the maidens linked in love
Who erst have striven for pride of place;
Lifted all meaner thoughts above
They greet thee, one in heart and race;
She, in whose sunlit coves of peace
The navies of the World may rest,
And bear her wealth of snowy fleece,
Northward and West
And she, whose corn and rock-hewn gold
Built that Queen City of the South,
Where the lone billow swept of old
Her harbour-mouth.

Come, too, thou Sun-maid, in whose veins
For ever burns the tropic fire—
Whose cattle roam a thousand plains—
Come, with thy gold and pearls for tire;
And that sweet Harvester who twines
The tender vine and binds the sheaf—
And she, the Western Queen, who mines
The desert reef—
And thou against whose flowery throne
And orchards green the wave is hurled—

Australia claims you; Ye are one
Before the World!