Bill Hayden – Favourite Poems

Bill Hayden has chosen two favourite poems for Australia Day.
Both poems are read by Lionel Farrell.

Australia by Dame Mary Gilmour


Not Europe, crater of the newer world,
(Filling the later lands with peoples hurled
From her volcanic breast), can match with her;
Nor Asia, in whose ancient calm is stir,
Mighty in her long sleep, but mightier
In each recurring, half-awaken hour;
Not e’em America, marching in mailed power
Amid the warring elder worlds; nor yet
Dark Africa whom no man may forget! 

The dust of olden wrong lies light on her,
And with a breath she fleets it on the air;
She holds no darkling memories sinister;
She frets no wound the sudden strife lays bare;
Gracious she stands among the lands,
Australia Fair!

Was it the Sun That Broke My Dream by Christopher Brennan

Was it the sun that broke my dream
or was’t the dazzle of thy hair
caught where our olden meadows seem
themselves again and yet more fair?
Ah, sun that woke me, limpid stream,
then in spring-mornings’ rapture of air!
Was it the sun that broke my dream
or was’t the dazzle of thy hair?
And didst not thou beside me gleam,
brought hither by a tender care
at least my slumbering grief to share?
Are only the cold seas supreme?
Was it the sun that broke my dream?

Recording by John Izzard

Leave a Reply