The Dominion

   She is not yet; but he whose ear
   Thrills to that finer atmosphere
      Where footfalls of appointed things,
         Reverberant of days to be,
      Are heard in forecast echoings,
         Like wave-beats from a viewless sea —
Hears in the voiceful tremors of the sky
Auroral heralds whispering, "She is nigh."

   She is not yet; but he whose sight
   Foreknows the advent of the light,
      Whose soul to morning radiance turns
         Ere night her curtain hath withdrawn,
      And in its quivering folds discerns
         The mute monitions of the dawn,
With urgent sense strained onward to descry
Her distant tokens, starts to find Her nigh.

   Not yet her day. How long "not yet"! . .
   There comes the flush of violet!
      And heavenward faces, all aflame
         With sanguine imminence of morn,
      Wait but the sun-kiss to proclaim
         The Day of The Dominion born.
Prelusive baptism! — ere the natal hour
Named with the name and prophecy of power.

   Already here to hearts intense,
   A spirit-force, transcending sense,
      In heights unsealed, in deeps unstirred,
         Beneath the calm, above the storm,
      She waits the incorporating word
         To bid her tremble into form.
Already, like divining-rods, men's souls
Bend down to where the unseen river rolls; —

   For even as, from sight concealed,
   By never flush of dawn revealed,
      Nor e'er illumed by golden noon,
         Nor sunset-streaked with crimson bar,
      Nor silver-spanned by wake of moon,
         Nor visited of any star,
Beneath these lands a river waits to bless
(So men divine) our utmost wilderness, —

   Rolls dark, but yet shall know our skies,
   Soon as the wisdom of the wise
      Conspires with nature to disclose
         The blessing prisoned and unseen,
      Till round our lessening wastes there glows
         A perfect cone of broadening green, —
Till all our land Australia Felix called,
Become one Continent-Isle of Emerald; —

   So flows beneath our good and ill
   A viewless stream of Common Will,
      A gathering force, a present might,
         That from its silent depths of gloom
      At Wisdom's voice shall leap to light,
         And hide our barren feuds in bloom,
Till, all our sundering lines with love o'ergrown,
Our bounds shall be the seas alone.

This work is in the public domain in Australia because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council - Duration of Copyright (August 2014).

This work is also in the public domain in the United States because it was in the public domain in Australia in 1996, and no copyright was registered in the U.S. (This is the combined effect of Australia having joining the Berne Convention in 1928, and of 17 USC 104A with its critical date of January 1, 1996.)

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.