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ODE FOR COMMONWEALTH DAY.
BY GEORGE ESSEX EVANS.
Awake ! Arise! The wings of dawn Are beating at the Gates of Day ! The morning star hath been withdrawn, The silver vapors melt away !
Rise royally, O Sun, and crown The shoreward billow, streaming white, The forelands and the mountains brown, - With crested light; Flood with soft beams the valleys wide, The mighty plains, the desert sand, Till the New Day hath won for bride This Austral land! 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! 0 Thou, for whom the strong have wrought, And poets sung with souls aflame, Born of long hope and patient thought, A mighty name— We pledge tbee faith that shall not swerve, Our Land, Our Lady, breathing high The thought that makes it love to serve, And Jife to die 1 * Now are tby maidens linked in love Who erst have striven for pride of place; Lifted all meaner thoughts aoove They greet thee, one in heart and race; She, in whose sun-lit 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 rook-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 everirarna 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 t Crown Her—most worthy to be praised-* With eyes uplifted to the morn; For on this day a flag iB raised, A triumph won, a nation born! And Te, vast Army of the Dead, From mine and city, plain>nd sea, Who foaght and dared, who toiled and.bled, That this might be— • Draw round us in this honr of fate— This golden harvest of thy hand— With unseen lips, O consecrate And bless the land! Eternal Power, benign, supreme. Who'weigh'st the nations upon earth; Without whose aid the Empire dream, And pride of states is nothing worth— From snanwless speech, and vengeful deed. From license veiled in freedom's name, From greed of gold and scorn of creed, Guard Thou our fame 1 In stress of days that yet may be When hope shall rest upon the sword, In Welfare and Adversity, Be with iis, Lord! (The above is a copy of the ode which gained for Mr. Bssex Evans the prise of fifty guineas offered by the Government of New South Wales, and which elicited the strong commendation of the judges, who exoreued themselves as. immensely pleased with the work.)