A. D. Hope, Collected Poems: 1930-1970 (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1972): 13. PR 6015.O55A17 1972 Robarts Library
1A Nation of trees, drab green and desolate grey
2In the field uniform of modern wars,
3Darkens her hills, those endless, outstretched paws
4Of Sphinx demolished or stone lion worn away.
5They call her a young country, but they lie:
6She is the last of lands, the emptiest,
7A woman beyond her change of life, a breast
8Still tender but within the womb is dry.
9Without songs, architecture, history:
10The emotions and superstitions of younger lands,
11Her rivers of water drown among inland sands,
12The river of her immense stupidity
13Floods her monotonous tribes from Cairns to Perth.
14In them at last the ultimate men arrive
15Whose Boast is not: "we live" but "we survive",
16A type who will inhabit the dying earth.
17And her five cities, like five teeming sores,
18Each drains her: a vast parasite robber-state
19Where second-hand Europeans pullulate
20Timidly on the edge of alien shores.
21Yet there are some like me turn gladly home
22From the lush jungle of modern thought, to find
23The Arabian desert of the human mind,
24Hoping, if still from the deserts the prophets come,
25Such savage and scarlet as no green hills dare
26Springs in that waste, some spirit which escapes
27The learned doubt, the chatter of cultured apes
28Which is called civilization over there.
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