A National Song For Australia Felix

A poem by Andrew Barton Paterson

Dark over the face of Nature sublime!
Reign’d tyranny, warfare, and every crime;
The world a desert—no oasis green
A man-loving soul on its surface had seen;
Then mercy above a mandate sent forth
An Eden to form—a refuge for worth.
From the ocean it came, with halo so bright,
Want, strife, and oppression were lost in its sight.


First isle of the sea—brightest gem of the earth
In thee every virtue and joy shall have birth.
A land of the just, the brave, and the free,
Australia the happy, thou ever shalt be.

So earth in the flood no place for rest gave,
At length a green isle arose from the wave;
The dove o’er the waters the olive branch bore,
To show that one spot was cover’d no more;

Australia thus shall be sounded by fame,
And Europe shall echo the glorious name;
The brave, wise, and good, wherever oppress’d,
Shall fly to thy shores as a haven of rest.

Chorus: First isle of the sea, &c.

Land of the orange, fig, olive, and vine;
’Midst earth’s fairest daughters the chaplet is thine;
No sick’ning vapours are borne on thy air,
But fragrance and melody twine sweetly there;
Thy ever-green fields proclaim plenty and peace,
If man doth his part, heaven sends the increase;
No customs to fetter, no enemy near,
Independence thy sons for ever must cheer.

Chorus: First isle of the sea, &c.

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