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Final Words.

And now, fellow citizens, young and old, patriots all, it must be clear to all of us that we have reached here, in South Australia, the summit of a great dividing range in history. Behind and below us slopes back the past, chequered, mystic, wonderful. What struggles and conflicts —what defeats and victories there have been in the ages that have gone by. Room enough for regret there is in the retrospect, but they see the past with jaundiced eyes, and regard it with a morbid discontent, who say that rightly summed up, it shows—

“Truth for ever on the scaffold, Wrong for ever on the throne.”

And one wonders how a brave clear-souled man like Lowell could


  ― 18 ―
ever have written such a line for the Jeremiahs of politics to point there-with their dismal morals and to adorn their tales of woe. Wrong has often met its merited scaffold; Right has often ascended its well-won throne. And from these shining heights of To-day, we who are wise look back with a tender thankfulness for all the past brought and swept away; we look around with a cheerful confidence, albeit with some anxieties; and we look forward with hope, holding it true, with one of our own poetesses, that for the good estate of this and every other Commonwealth there must be

“Fewer programmes; we who have no prescience.
Fewer systems; we who are held and do not hold.
Less mapping out of masses, to be saved
By nations or by sexes. Fourier's void,
And Comte is dwarfed,—and Cabet, puerile.
Subsists no law outside of life.
…. The world waits for help.
Now press the clarion on thy woman's lip
And breathe the fine, keen breath along the brass,
And blow all class-walls level as Jericho's
Past Jordan; crying from the top of souls,
To souls, that they assemble on earth's flats
To get them to some purer eminence
Than any hitherto beheld for clouds.
What height we know not,—but the way we know,
And how by mounting aye, we must attain,
And so climb on.… The world is old:
But the old world waits to be renewed:
Toward which, new hearts in individual growth
Must quicken, and increase to multitude
In new dynasties of the race of men,—
Developed whence, shall grow spontaneously
New churches, new æconomies, new laws
Admitting Freedom, new societies
Excluding Falsehood.”

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