Trevor Bailey: ‘Sacrifice’ and ‘An Apple Orchard in Brittany’


To the Light Horse Regiments and brumbies that served Australia

Proud and free they run today
And look! they graze, and look! they play,
The brumbies of our High Country,
Symbols of what used to be
Our one and dear Australian way.

Buttercups and daisies gay
On grassy plains where snow gums sway:
A national home that is to me
Proud and Free.

War saw horse and man away
To fight a foe so home could stay
A land of peace, and billy-tea;
Of tramcars, and civility.
So now, for soldiers and wild horses, pray
Proud and Free.

Trevor Bailey
(Brumbies supplemented the purpose-bred Walers. Nearly 130,000 Australian horses served in WWI)


An Apple Orchard in Brittany
After the painting by Charles Conder, 1902 (for B.K.)

Impasto suns ablaze amid the blossom,
a slender trunk of orchard tree commands
a middle ground awash with bluish-greens:

an axis mundi spreading lissom
limbs reposing on a listless, cloudy sky.
The fleur-de-lys in the bottom corner—

the symbol of the goddess Iris at her
journeys joining man with heavenly
hosts—is limpid emblem too of France.

And yet this idyll of the belle époque
would be trodden with those flowers underfoot
in a godless age then just twelve years hence …

The trees and plants returned, it’s true,
as did the sky, if deeper blue.

Trevor Bailey

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