‘Hello, Soldier!’


Edward Dyson

AUSTRALIA, my native land,
    A stirring whisper in your ear—
’Tis time for you to understand
    Your rating now is A1, dear.
You’ve done some rousing things of late.
That lift you from the simple state
In which you chose to vegetate.

The persons so superior,
    Whose patronage no more endures,
Now have to fire a salvo for
    The glory that is fairly yours.
At length you need no sort of crutch,
You stand alone, you’re voted “much”—
Get busy and behave as such.

No man from Oskosh, or from Hull,
    Or any other chosen place
Can rise with a distended skull,
    And cast aspersions in your face.
You’re given all the world to know
Your proper standing as a foe,
And hats are off, and rightly so.

You furnished heroes for the fray,
    Your sterling merit’s widely blown
To all men’s satisfaction say,
    Now have you proved it to your own?
Now have you strength to stand and shine
In your own light and say, “Divine
The thing is that I do. It’s mine!”

The cannon’s stroke throws customs down
    The black and bottomless abyss,
And quaking are the gilded crown
    And palsied feet of prejudice.
The guns have killed, but it is true
They bring to life things good and new.
God grant they have awakened you!

My ears are greedy for the toast
    Of confidence before our guest,
The loyal song, the manly boast
    Your splendid faith to manifest.
In works of art and livelihood
Shirk not the creed, “What’s ours is good,”
Dread not to have it understood.

Australia, lift your royal brow,
    And have the courage of our pride,
Audacity becomes you now,
    Be splendidly self-satisfied,
No land from lowliness and dearth
Has won to eminence on earth
That was not conscious of its worth.

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