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William Gay

Dirge

Cauld, cauld she lies where snaws are deep
And bitter blaws the muirland win',
And over her grave the icy stars
Are keepin' watch abune.
But braw, O braw, the blooms that deck
The grave where he that lo'ed her lies,
And saftly blaws the simmer breeze,
And cloudless are the skies.

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Love's Menu: Pommes de Terre Frites

Fried potatoes is a dish
Good as any one could wish:
Cheap it is, and appetizing;
Turn a saint to gormandizing:
Good and cheap and tasty too,
Just the thing for Love's Menu.
Love is dainty, and his food,
Even though common, must be good:
Love hath little to disburse,
So his fare must fit his purse:
Love hath fickle appetite,
We his palate must invite:
Crisp and hot, the price a sou,
Fried Potatoes, Love's Menu.

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Love's Infinity

Dear lowly flower that liftest up
Among the grass thy golden cup,
I take thee from thy earthly bed
And plant thee in my heart instead.
Ye ocean waves that mount on high
As emulous of the lofty sky,
'Tis in my breast ye onward sweep
Which as the sea is wide and deep.
Great sun, from thy supernal height
On flower and wave who pourest light,
My soul doth clasp thee in the skies,
And thou in me dost set and rise.
O thou I love, thy lips of fire
Have waked an infinite desire,
And unto all things as to thee
Flames out the love that burns in me.

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A Sonnet of Faith

I am not daunted by the show of things,
Nor do I pass them with averted eyes,
Feigning I do not see, nor on the wings
Of fair deluding fancy lightly rise
And from afar the radiant world behold
In happy silence spinning smoothly by.
Nay, but by night and day, in heat and cold,
Among the multitudes who toil and die
I come and go observant, near at hand,
10Regarding Life with eyes that do not shrink:
I see the victor on his carrion stand,
And see in impious blood the vanquished sink,
Yea, even behold where waits the delvèd sod,
Yet sing unfaltering of the soul and God.

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Australian Federation

FROM all division let our land be free,
For God has made her one: complete she lies
Within the unbroken circle of the skies,
And round her indivisible the sea
Breaks on her single shore; while only we,
Her foster children, bound with sacred ties
Of one dear blood, one storied enterprise,
Are negligent of her integrity.—
Her seamless garment, at great Mammon’s nod,
With hands unfilial we have basely rent,
With petty variance our souls are spent,
And ancient kinship underfoot is trod:
O let us rise, united, penitent,
And be one people,—mighty, serving God!

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Milford Sound In Winter

Dark ocean walls, majestically steep,
That dare the skies, that guard a solitude
Of straitened sea from every tempest rude
That uncontrolled molests the outer deep!
White pinnacles, where Summer suns will reap
A silent store of clouds, unloose the flood
That captive long in Winter's hold hath stood,
And wake the mountain mosses from their sleep!
Dark walls! white peaks! unravished silences!
Grey sinuous lane of solitary sea!
Wild cataracts plunging fearless from the height!
And glaciers patient through the centuries!
O would that my revering soul might be
Among your lonely shrines an eremite!

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Resurge

Come forth, O Man, from darkness into light,
Renounce the dust, break through thy sordid bars,
For ever leave the crawling shapes of Night,
And move erect among thy native stars:
No longer grovel in a foetid cell
When all the spaces of the sky are thine,
With Sloth and Want no more a beggar dwell
When thou canst claim a heritage divine;
Awake and live! nor dream the dreams of death
That brood, fantastic, fearful, o'er thy grave,
Thou art not of the stuff that perisheth,
Nor unto Fate and Time art thou a slave;
Thy power extends beyond the starry Pole,
And worlds and suns revolve within thy soul.

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The Singer

Nay! sing no more thy wild delusive strain
(I heard them say, while I my song pursued),
'Tis but the rage of thy delirious brain
(I heard them say, yet still my song renewed):
Nay! sing no more with reckless, idle breath
Of man immortal and of life to come,
For one brief moment scan the face of death,
Then be thy foolish song for ever dumb;
Behold the dusty ash that once was fire,
And mark the summer leaf in autumn fall,
Watch thou the wavering breath of man expire,
And know that Death hath lordship over all
(I heard them say with many a scornful word,
Yet still sang on as one who nothing heard).

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To a Nurse

As dropping moisture on December flowers,
As sunlight breaking o'er the August plain,
As shines the Virgin on the midnight hours,
So is thy presence at the bed of pain;
5And as the flowers revive to bloom more fair,
And o'er the plain the wattles burst in fire,
And midnight hours to morn at last repair,
So hope and life thy minist'rings inspire;
9And though for me there's but the life and hope
That lie abundant past the gates of Death,
Yet thither as with feeble steps I grope
Thy friendly arm assists my failing breath;
Nor will I deem of Providence the worse
Who sent me pain to send me thee for nurse.

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Australia Infelix

HOW long, O Lord, shall this, my country, be
A nation of the dead? How long shall they
Who seek their own and live but for the day,
My country hinder from her destiny?
Around me, Lord, I seem again to see
That ancient valley where the dry bones lay,
And ’tis in vain that long I wait and pray
To see them rise to men resolved and free.
Yet sure, O Lord, upon this land of death
At last Thy Spirit will descend with power;
And Thou wilt kindle patriots with Thy breath,
Who, venturing all to win their country’s good,
Shall toil and suffer for the sacred hour
That brings the fullness of her nationhood.

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