Hail! strangers, hail! right welcome to our shore, 

We wish you joy, - Eden could yield no more.

We bid you welcome to Australia wide,

Land of the sunny clime, - the ocean's pride.

Land of the azure heaven, - the gorgeous sky,

Of wide-spread fertile plains, and mountains high;

Of gentle breezes and salubrious clime, -

With vales romantic, - and with cliffs sublime.

Here a perpetual summer clothes the scene,

And wraps our foliage in undying green.

Lov'd land of plenty, - land of wealth and ease,

“Land of the vintage," - queen of southern seas.

No pauper ghosts here roam in ragged woe,

Shaking and quaking o'er a path of snow,

Not here do starving crowds throng dense and deep,

To die from hunger, or to live to weep;

Pent up to toil from morning's earliest ray,

In mine or factory till the close of day, -

Yet after all their toil, and sweat, and care,

Scarce earn enough to buy the scantiest fare.

Here, far from poverty and factious broil,

Plenty and peace repay the labourers toil; -  

He reaps himself the harvest of his hands,

Industrious care, well paid, by wide spread lands.

No tax collector comes to claim a share, -

No parish priest, - to make the larder bare. –

No church-rate, poor-rate, dog and window tax, -

To thin the scanty rags on pauper backs;

Their very clothing seized to pay some rate, -

To pauper placemen, - pensioned tools of state.

That loathsome sight, England's New Poor Law prison,

Where poverty is punished more than treason;

And the poor fed, - or half starved, rather say,

On bone-broth, half a pint, doled twice a day;

Or, as a treat, a pint of weak tea given,

As if by fasting man might get to heaven;

If so, proud England's poor, compell'd to dwell,

In Grey-made Poor House (fitting type of hell),

Will sure that happy place at death attain,

And in its bliss forget their pauper pain.

Thank heaven, a building of so dark a shade

In this glad land hath never rais'd its head, -

To dim the sunlight of our happy clime,

And heaven insult by making want a crime.

- But stop - wild fancy - why attempt to paint

Australia's blessings, - language here is faint,

For "thoughts that breathe, and words that burn" would fail,

To render justice to the glowing tale,

Welcome, then, strangers, to our Eden shore, -

And for its joys indulgent heaven adore.

February 12th, 1849.

Poem published in the newspaper welcoming the immigrants on the "Fortitude", the first of the vessels to arrive in Moreton Bay under the auspices of Dr John Dunmore Lang. Moreton Bay Courier, Brisbane, 24 February 1849, p3.
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