The Anzac Graves on Gallipoli

You may not pass this place. Here you must stop,
Though all the world’s great tides run heedless by
These quiet graves, where wandering goats now crop
The thyme and saltbush, under a silent sky,

Where pine and myrtle speak our pride and sorrow.
The boys who made us men lie buried here,
As once in Greece men mourned their lost tomorrow
And said, the Spring was taken from the year.

These hills, where trenches fill and crumble under,
And migrant birds find peaceful resting-place
Erupted once in such a cosmic thunder
And fire, as when a star is born in space.

Here, racked with thirst, and dazed, and blind, and sweating
Through pain, and dread, and ecstasy, and blood,
Our flesh and bone climbed to their self-forgetting
And in this place was born our nationhood.

Therefore I say to all who now inherit
Their name and lands in freedom, Dare to know
This chosen ground, and walk these hills in spirit,
And pause a while, and choose before you go.

Poems of War

  • Alone

    Alone to walk the dripping woods of spring
       While daisies spy you?

  • Epitaph on a New Army

    No drums they wished, whose thoughts were tied
    To girls and jobs and mother,

  • The Tunnel

    This is where the water hurries under the archway,
    This is where we enter the long tunnel,

  • Australia 1914

    Gone away, away,
    Suddenly at a word departed,

  • Come Death Suddenly

    Come death suddenly from the sea or cloud,
    With the blast of thunder and the blinding shroud,

  • If I should die

    If I should die, grieve not for youth
    Blighted, and towers of hope that fell

  • The Prophetic Hour

    In this dread hour for thee and all mankind
    Britain, be Freedom’s fortress or her grave.

  • The Jervis Bay

    ..The fifth day of November, Fifty North and Forty West,
    Was edging to its departure, like an undecided guest,

  • Christmas in Iceland

    We lay in Iceland winterbound,
    And heard the blizzard blow,

  • Stella Polaris: Homebound

    Above the great ship’s lifting bow
    I watch the Pole Star nightly stand,

  • Thermopylae

    The story, as now we see, was over-written
    By Herodotus, bless his warm Hellenic heart!

  • The Last Enemy

    Could we locate the enemy of mankind
    (I mean the GHQ, the Centre itself,

  • The Anzac Graves on Gallipoli

    You may not pass this place. Here you must stop,
    Though all the world’s great tides run heedless by

  • Last Post

    Heard how often, still the notes compel
    Unused to awe, we stand listening.

Poems of Australia