Bendigo

A golden maid whose golden voice
Calls to the northern lands,
Of riches she has had her choice.
Twin treasures to make men rejoice
Came easy to her hands:
The golden harvest of broad fields,
Or that dark gift of sudden yields
Won from her golden sands.

But men have scorned her worthier pride
In rich and fruitful soil;
And, spreading desolation wide,
Ranged all her verdant countryside
To ravage and despoil.
And now grey wastes of tortured earth
Await the glory of rebirth
Thro' nature's patient toil.

She has the wish, she has the will
To gather beauty round.
Though gold's fierce lure stays with her still,
She lives to plan and strive until
Springs from this barren ground
Earth's only treasure, scorned of yore,
And smiling verdure clothes once more
Full many a bare, bleak mound.

She guards the gateway of the north
The broad lands of the sun.
Hospitably her hand goes forth,
Eager to vindicate the worth
Of happier tasks begun,
And in gay gardens to express
A newer urge to loveliness
And kinder virtues won.

A virile lass, in no wise strange,
Of true Australian breed:
Where drab days into sunlight charge
Across the Great Dividing Range
She scatters now the seed
That shall bring yields a thousandfold
When gardens count for more than gold
And peace outvalues greed.

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"Bendigo" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 18 Aug. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6217/bendigo>.

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