This was a poem penned by Caroline Carleton in 1859, and Carl Linger put it to music. It won the Gawler Institute Patriotic Song competition that year.
The SA Register newspaper of October 1859 printed the poem.
SONG OF AUSTRALIA
There is a land where summer skies
Are gleaming with a thousand dyes,
Blending in witching harmonies ;
And grassy knoll and forest height,
Are flushing in the rosy light,
And all above is azure bright — Australia!
There is a land where honey flows,
Where laughing corn luxuriant grows,
Land of the myrtle and the rose ;
On hill and plain the clust’ring vine
Is gushing out with purple wine,
And cups are quaffed to thee and thine — Australia!
There is a land where treasures shine
Deep in the dark unfathom’d mine
For worshippers at Mammon’s shrine;
Where gold lies hid, and rubies gleam,
And fabled wealth no more doth seem
The idle fancy of a dream — Australia!
There is a land where homesteads peep
From sunny plain and woodland steep,
And love and joy bright vigils keep ;
Where the glad voice of childish glee
Is mingling with the melody
Of nature’s hidden minstrelsy — Australia!
There is a land where, floating free,
From mountain-top to girdling sea,
A proud flag waves exultingly ;
And FREEDOM’S sons the banner bear,
No shackled slave can breathe the air,
Fairest of Britain’s daughters fair — Australia!
It was one of four songs included in a 1977 plebiscite used to choose a new national anthem. South Australians voted it their favourite but overall it was the least popular choice behind “Advance Australia Fair”, “Waltzing Matilda” and “God Save The Queen”.