Roderic Quinn

(1867 - 1949 / Australia)

The Master-Man

O CAPTAIN of the Great Event,
Which yet shall dew with crimson dew
The green coasts of our continent,
I know not where to look for you!
I know when doom shall mass about
Our shores, and strike their music dumb,
A something in your blood shall shout:
'The hour is mine! Behold, I come!'
For, if one truth since time began
O'ertowers all other truths, it is:
There ever comes the Master-Man
To make the epic moment his.
In reeling ranks and riven steel,
On red-drenched fields and seas of blood,
The bruised and broken foe shall feel
A valour not to be withstood;
The crisis shall not lack its lord,
The noon its sun, the night its star;
Beneath your high, directing sword
The triumph-tide shall surge afar.
Till God make plain your path, and fill
Your soul with martial ecstasy,
Perchance you toil in mart or mill,
Unconscious of your destiny.
Perchance you wait the breathing hour
Unborn — undrawn from distant spheres —
For, though the clouds of menace lower,
They may not break for years and years.
Yet, be it soon or be it late,
Or be it when this voice is mute,
O guardian of our golden State,
The foe shall find you resolute.
O Captain of the Great Event,
Which yet shall dew with crimson dew
The green coasts of our continent,
A victor's laurels wait for you.

Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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