The Women of the West.
They left their
vine-wreathed cottages and the mansion on the hill,
The houses on the
busy streets where life is never still,
The pleasures of
the city and the friends they cherished best,
For love they
faced the wilderness – the women of the West.
The roar and rush
and fever of the city died away,
And the old-time
joys and faces, they were gone for many a day;
In their place
the lurching coach wheel or the creaking bullock chains,
everlasting sameness of the never-ending plains.
In the slab-built
zinc-roofed homestead of some lately taken run,
In a tent beside
the bankment of a railway just begun,
In the huts of
new selections, in a camp of men’s unrest,
On the frontiers
of the nations, lived the women of the West.
The red sun
robbed their beauty and in weariness and pain,
The slow years
steal the nameless grace that never comes again,
And there are
hours men cannot soothe and words men cannot say –
woman’s face may be a hundred miles away.
The wide bush
holds the secret of their longings and desires,
When the white
stars in reverence light their holy altar fires,
And silence, like
the touch of God, sinks deep into the breast –
hears and understands the women of the West.
For them no
trumpet sounds the call, no poet plies his arts –
They only hear
the beating of their gallant loving hearts.
But they have
sung with silent lives the songs all songs above –
The holiness of
sacrifice, the dignity of love.
Well have we held our father's creed.
No call has passed us by.
We faced and fought the wilderness, we sent our sons to die.
And we have hearts to do and dare, and yet, o'er all the rest,
The hearts that made the Nation were the Women of the West
G. E. Evans