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"Stella Australis": Poems, verses and prose fragments

"Stella Australis": Poems, verses and prose fragments
Title: "Stella Australis": Poems, verses and prose fragments
Release Date: 2018-06-19
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
Count views: 206
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Stella Australis

—— and ——


Gordon and Gotch, Queen St., Brisbane,
Printers and Publishers

To Miss F. Vida Lahey, of Brisbane,
this small volume is dedicated.

In East or West though I abide,
By peaceful vale or mountain side,
Thy crystal rills and sunlit sea—
Dear land of beauty—calleth me.


THE raison d’être of this small work was suggested to me at the timeof the lamented death of King Edward of happy memory. I essayed to markthe date of his decease by writing a few lines in commemoration of theevent, and from that time forward I have felt a desire to express mythoughts in verse, with the hope that Queenslanders, no less thanothers, may see beauty in everything God has made. I am conscious thereare many defects, and ask the leniency of my readers.


I would here acknowledge the kindness and courtesy of “The BrisbaneCourier” for the production of my efforts in their valuable journal,which encourages me to trust that some little pleasure may be derivedfrom their perusal. Such is the earnest wish of the Authoress.


Le Roi Est Mort1
To Australia2
To Selene8
If I Might Choose9
Queensland Pioneers10
Ibrahim Pasha at Scutari11
Loss of the “Yongala”13
“The King”14
The Brotherhood of Man16
Cleveland, Q.19
The Haunted Chair20
A Lonely Grave23
The Seven Ages of Woman25
The Loss of the “Titanic”27
A Song of Australia28
To a Child29
The Glasshouse Mountains, Queensland30
Australia’s Destiny32
Love’s Reverie35
To the Rose36
In Memoriam: Captain Scott and his Comrades who perished in Antarctica37
Austral’s Heroes38
Life’s Duty40
The Temple of the Years41
The Weavers42
The Jacaranda43
Where All is Understood44
The Quest46
The Muse47
In Memoriam: Bishop Webber49
At Eventide50
To Sleep52
What is Man?53
The Blue Mountains, N.S.W.55
The Poet Laureate: Alfred Austin57
Mount Tambourine, Queensland59
Australia to the Empire Mother61
Youth and Age64
An Australian Reverie66
The Voice of Song68
At Night70
The Wattle72
Austral’s Song73
I Know Not74
The City of the “Violet Crown”77
The Tale of The Great White Plains80
An Australian Hymn83
God’s Gift84
Because of Thee85
The Legend of Osyth’s Wood87
Mount Gambier, South Australia90
Scents and the Past—A Strong Connecting Link92
Malta—Just a Glimpse94
The Ports of Palestine103
The Ivory Temple—For Australian Women107
The Little Children—Making Good Citizens109
Music—Its Magnetic Charm111
Man and His Dress114
So Long Ago116



      Poems and Verses    


A nation’s soul had hung with bated breath
Upon two fateful words: ’Twas Life or Death.
The King is dead!
Low lies that royal head; Death’s seal is pressed on that cold marble brow,
Free from all sorrow now. He is at rest:
The King is dead!
And she, whom he adored, is stricken low;
Nor tears, nor loving words, avail him now.
The King is dead!
Swifter than morning lights his soul hath
Winged its flight beyond the stars.
The King is dead!
Earth’s nations bow the head in mutest grief
For this: The Royal dead who sleeps beneath yon pall.
The King is dead!
Life’s pageantry is o’er; nor pomp, nor cavalcades disturb him more.
The King is dead!
Upon that stately bier reposeth now
All that remains so dear, whom millions knew.
The King is dead!
O Angels, waft him home!
O Lord of Life and Death,
Thy will be done!
The King is dead!
And yet, he lives again! his son doth
Him succeed!
God bless his reign!


Stella Australis! who with matchless grace
Riseth like Aphrodité from the ocean’s foam,
With dawn resplendent in thy smiling face
And tresses flung to the wild breezes of thy home.
Brilliant the gems thy bosom fair adorning,
Rich run thy veins with golden treasure down;
Thy girdle formed of pearls fair, as the morning,
The starry Southern Cross thy peerless crown.
The silver rills thy rocky slopes o’erflowing,
The thunders of thy falls go rushing o’er
To join the tree-fringed rivers in their going
Down to the briny deep of Neptune’s floor.
And Kosciusko towers in mighty solitude,
Poising her regal head toward the sky,
And ’mid the vast silence of her altitude
Views undisturbed the storm clouds passing by.
Thy subterranean rivers are unsounded,
The golden corn is quivering on thy plain,
Thy depths are stored with mineral wealth unbounded,
The fame of which hath crossed the sounding main.
And thou dost stand, thine arms outstretched with pleasure,
To greet thy friends from that dear Motherland,
To welcome them and give them of thy treasure,
The wealth of ages which thou can’st command{3}
Of ages when thy central seas became
Haunts of primeval monsters of the deep;
When thy volcanoes belched their sulphurous flame,
And covered all with an eternal sleep,
But thou art waking now, thou great Australia;
Thou art an empire of thy very self,
A trinity of oceans thee embraces,
And crowns thee Empress of one Commonwealth.
Oh, may our Empire-builders faithful be,
Basing thy pillars’ vast foundations’ might
Firm on the rock of justice, truth, and liberty,
Leading thy people upward to the light.



Would that I had the muse’s lyre,
The poet’s gift, and warm desire
To cleave the heights to glory’s fame;
From mountain pinnacles proclaim—
Peace, universal peace.
I’d string my lute, and make the chords
Echo my heart’s deep burning words;
And bid the nations contemplatively
To vibrate to the grandest harmony—
The song of peace.
For nations rise, and nations fall;
Battles are fought, and over all
Death’s wings, their shadowy darkness spread
With woe and terror, fraught with dread
To all mankind.
Where are the ruins of magnificence
Which the grim demon war has overthrown?
Where are the hanging gardens of Semiramis
When Babylonian maids their glances threw
Upon their bloom?
Egypt and Carthage, Greece and Rome havepassed
In long procession down the stream of Time;
The sands of centuries o’er them are cast.
Gone are those mighty cities at whose shrine
Knelt luxury and vice.{5}
And in their train came war with cruel knife,
Creating widows, pestilence and death;
And man against his brother in the strife
Fell ’neath the devastating monster’s breath,
His blood the price.
Then speed the day when the white dove of peace,
With olive branch extended to the world,
Shall all unite in brotherhood to man,
With flag of universal love unfurled—
And war shall cease.



I walked with joy: the path was smooth
And rose-strewn, for all things to youth
Seem beautiful; and in those childhood’s days
Oft’ would I wander dreaming down the ways
Which led into the grotto in the leafy wood,
Where chestnut trees and tall laburnums stood,
Waving their golden heads; and ’neath my feet
Grew cowslips, anemones, and bluebells sweet;
And past the statue of old “Time,” so scarred,
Who, scythe in hand, in stony silence stared.
And the green sward, like velvet carpet, spread,
With the vast canopy of azure sky o’erhead.
And down the slope where deer with lustrous eye
And schools of rooks would weary homeward fly.
Across the lake the swans would graceful glide,
While we our daisy chain would weave, beside
The bank where lay the water lilies white—
Where in our childish fancy dwelt a sprite.
Ah, me! Those days returning nevermore!
But thoughts remain alone of those sweet days of yore.
I walked with grief. The way was rough and long.
The world was gray and gloomy, and the voice of song
Was hushed. No longer did the silver tones of dear
Home voices with their music greet mine ear;
But sudden memory would sometimes ope a door,
And forms and faces, long since gone before,
Would force the poignant tears of grief to flow—
For those dear vanished friends of long ago.{7}
I walked with Hope, who stretched a tender thread
And led me on and upward, past the dead,
Dark days. Then did my captive spirits find
That disappointments and the years had sunk behind
The grandeur and the majesty sublime
Of higher thoughts, and hidden things divine.
And sweet communion of kindred souls
Without the mortal ban, as free as rolls
The ocean when in placid mood;
Or the pure air, pouring in joyous flood,
Piercing the veil of flesh to see some noble spirit in its purity,
With lofty and exalted mein in calm serenity,
Making the common tasks a noble duty and a prayer,
Ascending to the skies, and placing there
A holy sacrifice—The altar place Heaven’s throne—
Making our Earth an Eden of our own.



Pale queen of beauty, in thy cold abode
Lonely thou
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