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Song for Australia

by Caroline J. Carleton (1819-1874)

Australian writer. Written in 1859.

There is a land where summer skies
Are gleaming with a thousand dyes
Blending in witching harmonies, in harmonies;
and grassy knoll and forest height,
are flushing in the rosy light,
And all above is azure bright
Australia, Australia, Australia.

There is a land where honey flows
Where laughing corn luxuriant grows;
Land of the myrtle and the rose, land of the rose.
On hill and plain the clustering vine
Is gushing out with purple wine,
And cups are quaffed to thee and thine
Australia, Australia, Australia.

There is a land where treasures shine
Deep in the dark unfathomed mine
For worshippers at Mammon's Shrine;
Where gold lies hid, and rubies glean,
And fable wealth no more doth seem
The idle fancy of a dream
Australia, Australia, Australia.

There is a land where homesteads peep
From sunny plain and woodland steep
And love and joy bright vigils keep;
Where the glad voice of childish glee
Is mingling with the melody
Of nature's hidden minstelsy
Australia, Australia, Australia.

There is a land where floating free,
From mountain top to girdling sea,
A proud flag waves exultingly, exultingly
And freedom's sons the banner bear,
No shackled slave can breathe the air;
Fairest of Britain's daughter fair
Australia, Australia, Australia.

About the Author

Caroline J. Carleton was born in England in 1820. Along with her husband and two children, she arrived in South Australia in 1839 and lived in Adelaide for many years.

In 1859 Caroline entered The Song of Australia in a competition sponsored by the Gawler Institute to celebrate its second anniversary. Out of 96 entries, The Song of Australia was awarded the first prize sum of ten guineas.

Charles Cameron Kingston, the Premier of South Australia, was so impressed with the song that he had it taught to all public school students in his state. Unfortunately, it never became Australia's national anthem. Advance Australia Fair, composed 19 years later by Peter Dodds McCormick, was preferred by the Commonwealth government.

Caroline Carleton died in 1874 and her admirers placed a monument over her grave at Wallaroo.

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