Poem: The Transvaal Contingent

'The Transvaal Contingent' from M. Nalder, Battle-smoke Ballads, or, Poems of the Transvaal War (1899).

From Bluff to Cape Maria New Zealand is agreed;
She thanks her Representatives for generous thought and deed.
She turns with joy from squabbles - from Party's petty aim -
To feel she still has statesman well worthy of the name.

The mingled crosses on our Flag- the emblems of our Home-
Fill but a little corner, like the Islands whence we come;
But the Field spreads out its folds around the red, or white or blue
In which the stars of kindred lands are coming into view.

True, England does not need our help to smite her present foe;
There's little on the surface, but much going on below;
Aye, others worse than Kruger, with hostile hearts unseen,
Appreciate the meaning of that loud "God Save the Queen."

For it means that when the Empire sustains her foes' attack,
When the colours of the Ensign are swathed in clouds of black,
Through that dark night of tempest, though scanty and untried,
The Southern Stars of kindred lands will shine by England's side.

Imperial Federation! What stronger can there be,
Than sending forth our choicest, as gifts unasked and free?
It means the Colonies are bound by ties of Love and Life
In danger's hour to triumph or to fall in England's' strife;

That in the Union's mighty Field, in battle's darkest night,
The Southern Constellations shall blaze in Empire's fight;
Aye, more - we know that should we meet a banded World's attack
Those other glorious Stars and Stripes shall fight `longside the Jack.

The Empire thanks with Seddon - all parties (friends or foes) -
Who seized the great occasion and nobly to it rose,
Upheld New Zealand's honour and recognised the time
When faltering were infamy, when meanness were a Crime.

Now proudly to the breezes New Zealand's flag we yield,
The Union in its corner - the Stars upon its Field.
The Fernleaf and the Rata entwined in Empire's wreath,
"God Save the Queen" resounding from loyal hearts beneath.

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