Sky Death

Pat Gallagan


I shall wait impatient for the day
When I shall leave this land of mine
To fight her battles on a distant shore;
To fight those men I know not, love not, hate not,
But pity only for their credences
That set a Caesar on the throne of God.

And I shall go into the darker lands
That know not peace as did this smiling continent,
Old like an ancient eucalyptus,
I'll take with me a fragment of the land,
A living though unworthy part, myself.

And should I not return
To my old native plains and hills:
Should I while life is new and strange
Depart from it and leave
A thousand empty future dreams,
I'll not regret to die, if God is nigh,
And dying will mean peace and justice here.

For am I not Australian in my being,
Child of this glorious earth
That never yet has known the bloody baptism of war?
And fighting to preserve her thus
Is surely worth my all;
And dying for her peace and freedom
Would be glory,
The Southern Cross my headstone,
And the Queensland stars my epitaph,
Written on the scroll of night I loved.

Pat Gallagan died on active service.

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

Australian Nationalism Information Database -