Verse > Anthologies > Walter Murdoch, comp. > The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse
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Walter Murdoch (1874–1970).  The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse.  1918.
 
121. Pioneers
 
By Frederick William Ophel
 
 
THEY said: ‘Now here is gold;
  The cloth of gold unrolled
  Lies spread about our feet,
  Now fortune smiles and sweet.’
The mulga hid the face of Fate        5
Watching with ruthless eyes of hate.
 
‘Now wealth is ours,’ they said,
‘Great wealth and riches red.
  Our journeying is done,
  Guerdon and gold are won.’        10
Red were the written words they signed;
And, scenting blood, the wild dog whined.
 
They said: ‘Now ours is fame,
An honoured glorious name—
  The name of pioneers,        15
  And honour as of seers.’
They turned to take the homeward track,
And dreamed a joyous welcome back.
 
No man knows where they lie;
None heard their last death-cry;        20
  Unmarked their grave by mound;
  But at the last trump sound
Perchance some God who all things hears
Will give them praise as pioneers.
 

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