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A Song of Sydney

Ethel Castilla 1861 (Kyneton, Victoria) – 1895



(1894)

High headlands all jealously hide thee,
O fairest of sea-girdled towns!
Thine Ocean-spouse smileth beside thee,
While each headland threatens and frowns.
Like Venice, upheld on sea-pinion,
And fated to reign o'er the free,
Thou wearest, in sign of dominion,
The zone of the sea.

No winter thy fertile slope hardens,
O new Florence, set in the South!
All lands give their flowers to thy gardens,
That glow to thy bright harbour's mouth;
The waratah and England's red roses
With stately magnolias entwine,
Gay sunflowers fill sea-scented closes,
All sweet with woodbine.

Thy harbour's fair flower-crowned islands
See flags of all countries unfurled,
Thou smilest from green, sunlit highlands
To open thine arms to the world!
Dark East's and fair West's emulations
Resound from each hill-shadowed quay,
And over the songs of all nations,
The voice of the sea.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Ethel Castilla

Ethel Castilla was an Australian poet. She was the daughter of Frederic Ramos de Castilla, an Englishman of Spanish descent, and May Robertson, daughter of an Edinburgh writer. She lived mostly in Melbourne and contributed frequently to 'The Australasian', and the 'Sydney Mail'. She spent most of her life in Melbourne. more…

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