Ethel Castilla

(19 June 1861 - / Kyneton / Victoria / Australia)

A Song of Sydney


(1894)

High headlands all jealously hide thee,
   O fairest of sea-girdled towns!
Thine Ocean-spouse smileth beside thee,
   While each headland threatens and frowns.
Like Venice, upheld on sea-pinion,
   And fated to reign o'er the free,
Thou wearest, in sign of dominion,
   The zone of the sea.

No winter thy fertile slope hardens,
   O new Florence, set in the South!
All lands give their flowers to thy gardens,
   That glow to thy bright harbour's mouth;
The waratah and England's red roses
   With stately magnolias entwine,
Gay sunflowers fill sea-scented closes,
   All sweet with woodbine.

Thy harbour's fair flower-crowned islands
   See flags of all countries unfurled,
Thou smilest from green, sunlit highlands
   To open thine arms to the world!
Dark East's and fair West's emulations
   Resound from each hill-shadowed quay,
And over the songs of all nations,
   The voice of the sea.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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