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Sir Henry Parkes


Sir Henry Parkes

[1815 - 1896]

The brave old land of deed and song,
Of gentle hearts and spirits strong,
Of queenly maids and heroes grand,
Of equal laws, - our Fatherland!

Though born beneath a brighter sun,
Shall we forget the marvels done,
By soul outspoken, blood outpoured,
By bard and patriot, song and sword?

Forget how firm and true our sires,
Still lighted by their battle-fires,
’Gainst kingly power and kingly crime,
Long struggled in the darkened time?

How in a rolling sea they stood,
Where every wave was freemen's blood, -
Shall we forget the time of strife,
When freedom’s only price was life?

Shall Cromwell’s memory, Milton's lyre,
Not kindle ’mong us souls of fire,
Not raise in us a spirit strong -
High scorn of shams, quick hate of wrong?
Shall we not learn, Australians born!
To smile on tinselled power our scorn, -
At least, a freeman’s pride to try,
When tinselled power would bend or buy?

The brave old land of deed and song,
We ne’er will do her memories wrong!
For freedom here we’ll firmly stand,
As stood our sires for Fatherland!

Sir Henry Parkes (1815 - 1896) was Premier of the colony of New South Wales. Due to his great public efforts to attain the federation of the Australian colonies in the late 1880s and early 1890s, he became known as the "Father of Federation" (he died before federation was achieved in 1901).

The Association for the Advancement of Australian Culture