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Australia

Written by: Alec Derwent (A D) Hope | Biography
 A Nation of trees, drab green and desolate grey 
In the field uniform of modern wars, 
Darkens her hills, those endless, outstretched paws 
Of Sphinx demolished or stone lion worn away. 

They call her a young country, but they lie: 
She is the last of lands, the emptiest, 
A woman beyond her change of life, a breast 
Still tender but within the womb is dry. 

Without songs, architecture, history: 
The emotions and superstitions of younger lands, 
Her rivers of water drown among inland sands, 
The river of her immense stupidity 

Floods her monotonous tribes from Cairns to Perth. 
In them at last the ultimate men arrive 
Whose boast is not: "we live" but "we survive", 
A type who will inhabit the dying earth. 

And her five cities, like five teeming sores, 
Each drains her: a vast parasite robber-state 
Where second hand Europeans pullulate 
Timidly on the edge of alien shores. 

Yet there are some like me turn gladly home 
From the lush jungle of modern thought, to find 
The Arabian desert of the human mind, 
Hoping, if still from the deserts the prophets come, 

Such savage and scarlet as no green hills dare 
Springs in that waste, some spirit which escapes 
The learned doubt, the chatter of cultured apes 
Which is called civilization over there.



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