The Dominion

Oh, fair Ideal, unto whom,
Through days of doubt and nights of gloom,
Brave hearts have clung, while lips of scorn,
Made mock of thee as but a dream—
Already on the heights of morn
We see thy golden sandals gleam,
And, glimmering through the clouds that wrap thee yet,
The seven stars that are thy coronet.

Why tarriest thou 'twixt earth and heaven?
Go forth to meet her, Sisters seven!
'Tis but your welcome she awaits
Ere, casting off the veil of cloud,
The bodied Hope of blending States,
She stands revealed, imperial, proud;
As from your salutation sprung full-grown,
With green for raiment and with gold for zone.

From where beneath unclouded skies
Thy peerless haven glittering lies;
From where o'er pleasant pastures rove
The flocks from which thy greatness sprang;
From vine-clad slope and orange-grove:
From “grave mute woods” thy Minstrel sang;
From Alpine peaks aglow with flush of morn,
Go forth to meet her, thou, the eldest-born.

From where, reverberant at thy feet,
The billows of two oceans meet;
From where the rocks thy treasures hide;
From mart and wharf, and harbour-mouth;
From where the city of thy pride
Ennobles all the teeming South—
To meet her, thou with loftiest zeal inflamed,
Go forth, Victoria, queen and queenly named.

And thou, the youngest, yet most fair,
First to discern, and first to dare;
Whose lips, sun-smitten, earliest spoke
The herald words of coming good,
And with their clarion-summons broke
The slumber of the sisterhood—
Foremost of all thy peers press on to greet
 
Her advent, strewing flowers before her feet.

And thou, around whose brow benign
Vine-leaf and olive intertwine;
Upon whose victories the Star
Of Peace looks down with no rebuke,
The weapons of whose warfare are
The ploughshare and the pruning-hook—
Take with thee gifts of corn, and wine, and oil,
To greet thy liege with homage of the soil.

Thou, too, whom last the morning-beams
Wake from thy sleep by peaceful streams
Slow westering to the Indian main—
Thou, too, beneath thy later sun
Conspire with these in glad refrain
Of welcome to the coming One,
And from thy fragrant forests tribute bring
Of grateful incense for thine offering.

And thou, Pomona of the South,
Ruddy of cheek, and ripe of mouth,
Who from thy couch of orchard-bloom
With fearless foot are wont to stray
By mountain lakes, or in the gloom
Of forest-depths unknown of day—
Be thy shrill greeting borne upon the breeze
Above the thunder of thy girdling seas.

Nor thou delay, who dwell'st apart,
To join thy peers with gladsome heart—
Whether the summons thee o'ertake
On icy steep or fruitful plain,
Or where thy craggy bulwarks break
The onslaught of the warring main,
Or find thee couched within some ferny lair,
Flax-flower and hyacinth mingling with thy hair.

Bind ye the sevenfold cord apace;
Weave ye the sevenfold wreath, to grace
The brow of her whose avatar
The mighty Mother waits to bless;
In sevenfold choir be borne afar
The music of your joyfulness.
Till o'er the world's disquiet your song prevail—
“Australia Foederata! Hail! all hail!”

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James Brunton Stephens

James Brunton Stephens was a Scottish-born Australian poet, author of Convict Once. more…

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"The Dominion" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 26 Feb. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/20033/the-dominion>.

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