The Australian

The bravest thing God ever made!
(A British Officer’s Opinion)

The skies that arched his land were blue,
His bush-born winds were warm and sweet,
And yet from earliest hours he knew
The tides of victory and defeat:
From fierce floods thundering at his birth,
From red droughts ravening while he played,
He learned no fear no foes on earth -
The bravest thing God ever made!

The bugles of the Motherland
Rang ceaselessly across the sea,
To call him and his lean brown band
To shape Imperial destiny.,
He went by youth’s grave purpose willed,
The goal unknown, the cost unweighed,
The promise of his blood fulfilled -
The bravest thing God ever made!

We know - it is our deathless pride! -
The splendour of his first fierce blow;
How, reckless, glorious, undenied,
He stormed those steel-lined cliffs we know!
And none who saw him scale the height
Behind his reeking bayonet blade
Would rob him of his title right -
The bravest thing God ever made!

Bravest, where half a world of men
Are brave beyond all earth’s rewards,
So stoutly none shall charge again
Till the last breaking of the swords;
Wounded or hale, won home from war,
Or yonder by the Lone Pine laid,
Give him his due for evermore -
The bravest thing God ever made!

W. H. Ogilvie