William Henry Ogilvie

The Australian

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The skies that arched his land were blue,

His bush-born winds were warm and sweet,

And yet from earliest hours he knew

The tides of victory and defeat;

From fierce floods thundering at his birth,

From red droughts ravening while he played,

He learned to fear no foes on earth –

“The bravest thing God ever made!”



The bugles of the motherland

Rang ceaselessly across the sea,

To call him and his lean brown band

To shape imperial destiny;

He went, by youth’s grave purpose willed,

The goal unknown, the cost unweighed,

The promise of his blood fulfilled –

“The bravest thing God ever made!”



We know - it is our deathless pride! –

The splendour of his first fierce blows,

How, reckless, glorious, undenied,

He stormed those steel-lined cliffs we know.

And none who saw him scale the height

Behind his reeking bayonet blade

Would rob him of his title-right –

“The bravest thing God ever made!”



Bravest, where half the world of men

Are brave beyond all earth’s rewards,

So stoutly none shall charge again

Till the last breaking of the swords;

Wounded or hale, won home from the war,

Or yonder by the Lone Pine laid,

Give him his due forever more –

“The bravest thing God ever made!”

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William Henry Ogilvie