Soldier's Valediction

I shall not cheer at your triumph for I shall be dead,
Exiled from home and part of an alien soil;
Lost to your sunset's gold and purple and red
And the night's grey foil.

Lost to your cool bright mornings kissing the hills –
Dew on the vivid grass and singing trees;
Lost to the birds' glad music daybreak spills
Through forest sanctuaries.

Lost to the creaking saddle, the champing bit,
The panting bark of a cattle-dog come home,
Lost to the dense green scrub where fantails flit
And whip-birds roam.

Lost to the whispering creeks and foaming falls,
Lost to the valleys in their misted shade,
Lost to the quiet dark where a curlew calls
Like a mourning maid.

I shall not cheer at your triumph for I shall be dead,
Leaving my sons to keep your flag on high,
But wheresoever my mortal dust is sped
There shall echo Australia's battle-cry!

                                 Frank Francis (1944) 

ROT Public Group

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