Christopher Brennan (1870-1932)

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Summer Noon

Fire in the heavens, and fire along the hills,
and fire made solid in the flinty stone,
thick-massed or scattered pebble, fire that fills
the breathless hour that lives in fire alone.
This valley, long ago the patient bed
of floods that carved its antient amplitude,
in stillness of the Egyptian crypt outspread,
endures to drown in noon-day's tyrant mood.
Behind the veil of burning silence bound,
vast life's innumerous busy littleness
is hushed in vague-conjectured blur of sound
that dulls the brain with slumbrous weight, unless
some dazzling puncture let the stridence throng
in the cicada's torture-point of song.

Quis Pro Domino?

Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay--
Ay' verily: and by ministry of such men
As did His will upon the Saracen:
And Christendom owns not that man today
Who deems it not the holiest task to slay,
So utterly, that they rise not again,
Yon blatant heathenrie, past human ken
Outlawed to death, its raving spawn and prey.
And thou has lit one flame of love and wrath,
Who, all unterrified, didst take thy stand,
And tear the Beast, and baulk him of his spring.
O noble Belgium, lion in the path;
An inch of sword holding a foot of land;
A folk of men, showing a man for King!

(Text from The Sonnet in Australasia.)