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Sir Henry Parkes

(1815 - 1896 / Australia)

The Buried Chief


(November 6th, 1886)

With speechless lips and solemn tread
   They brought the Lawyer-Statesman home:
They laid him with the gather'd dead,
   Where rich and poor like brothers come.

How bravely did the stripling climb,
   From step to step the rugged hill:
His gaze thro' that benighted time
   Fix'd on the far-off beacon still.

He faced the storm that o'er him burst,
   With pride to match the proudest born:
He bore unblench'd Detraction's worst, --
   Paid blow for blow, and scorn for scorn.

He scaled the summit while the sun
   Yet shone upon his conquer'd track:
Nor falter'd till the goal was won,
   Nor struggling upward, once look'd back.

But what avails the "pride of place",
   Or winged chariot rolling past?
He heeds not now who wins the race,
   Alike to him the first or last.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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