Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  The Birth of Australia

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Percy Russell

The Birth of Australia

NOT ’mid the thunder of the battle guns,

Not on the red field of an Empire’s wrath,

Rose to a nation Australasia’s sons,

Who tread to greatness Industry’s pure path.

Behold a people, through whose annals runs

No damning stain of falsehood, force, or fraud;

Whose sceptre is the ploughshare—not the sword—

Whose glory lives in harvest-ripening suns!

Where ’mid the records of old Rome or Greece

Glows such as tale? Thou canst not answer, Time.

With shield unsullied by a single crime,

With wealth of gold, and still more golden fleece,

Forth stands Australia, in her birth sublime,

The only nation from the womb of Peace!