At Toowong

Year: 1922

by Emily Bulcock   

Unveiling of Anzac Memorial, Sunday July 2, 1922

They met to honour the brave young dead,
     Where a noble shaft rose high!
In the quiet park – on a grassy knoll,
Remembering those who paid the toll
     And showed men how to die!

The ghost of a brave young moon looked down
     Through the Sabbath calm and peace!
Scarcely a whisper the silence broke –
Till, solemn and deep the great drum spoke
     And gave our thoughts release.

And the grand old hymns that in war and peace
     Have set men's hearts afire!
Went floating up to the listening sky!
And curious flocks of birds came by,
     As if to join the choir!

As tho' our wealth of loving thoughts
     Had warmed the sullen day.
God lent His sun a little space,
It touched the scene with tender grace,
     And chased all gloom away.

A-near the branching eucalypts –
     Line of blue hills afar!
They spoke of loyalty, honour, truth!
And back came troops of radiant youth!
     Death set its gates ajar.

How oft those boyish feet had trod
     These very paths along!
Had scaled Mount Coot-tha's splendid height,
Or skimmed with outspread sails of white,
     The river at Toowong.

Love brought its wealth of immortelles,
     Pure white, as for a bride!
But who could see, untouched, unmoved,
The Wattles from the trees they loved,
     Those boyish names beside?

And like a prayer made visible
     We saw with reverence there
Man's loving thoughts set firm in stone!
Ah lads! the peace you long have known
     Hushed all our hearts to prayer!

                                       Emily Bulcock (1922)