D.V. Munro


O make no monstrous concrete pile
Inscribed with names, nor mile on mile
Of avenue with foreign trees;
They did not die for love of these,
But for Australia's homely things -
The wattle bloom that August brings,
The rugged hills, the sweltering plains;
Tall gum trees glistening 'neath soft rains;
Vast swaying crops of golden wheat;
And sudden showers mid summer's heat;
Soft bleating sheep and yapping dogs;
Great bullocks hauling Karri logs
Beneath the glaring midday sun;
The singing creeks that swiftly run
Close by the homestead; the raucous din
Of chattering parrots perched up in
An old windmill that creaks and groans
At its task; the rich reds and roans
Of new turned earth; the kangaroos;
And flurried flights of cockatoos;
The kookaburra's happy mirth;
The pitted hills and mounds of earth
That mark the search for the golden ore;
The barren, empty Nullarbor;
Bright cheery fires of Banksia logs;
Cacophonies of choiring frogs
That rise from every billabong;
And just at dawn, the bellbird's song;
The friendly sight of whitewashed roofs;
The thunderous beat of many hoofs
As cattle rush for a water-hole
In clouds of dust; the ceaseless roll
Of the surf, and the happy crowd
Of surfers who, with laughter loud,
Make holiday upon the shore -
All this they loved, and ask no more
Than this to be their monument.
So build no heaps of carved cement,
Nor avenues of foreign trees;
They did not die from love of these
But that Australia might be free,
Self-chosen rule, democracy,
And all the true Australian things -
Like wattle bloom that August brings.

Fire of the Southern Cross: A Collection of Poetry for Australian Nationalists

Australian Nationalism Information Database -