by John Holland
“The cross of the south is a timepiece that advances very regularly about four minutes a day -- how often have we heard our guides in the savannas of Venezuela, or in the desert extending from Lima to Truxillo, say, 'Midnight is past, the cross begins to bend!' -- how often these words reminded us of that affecting scene where Paul and Virginia, conversing together for the last time, the old man, at the sight of the Southern Cross, warns them that it is time to separate!" -- Humboldt.
Oh, glorious sign of earth's most glorious theme,
How fitly character'd with stars in heaven!
Redemption's symbol! Thee, with joy supreme,
The voyager on southern ocean driven,
Hails nightly, as, with double blessing given --
To point his progress toward the antarctic pole,
Whilst embleming the faith that guides his soul:
On thee, the Australian traveller nightly smiles;
Proud Chimborazo's climber welcomes thee;
La Plata's vent'rous pilgrim, longs to see
Thy radiant form lit up; the Georgian isles,
With new-born joy, in those benignant skies,
Where many a brilliant constellation vies
With the bright sign -- delighted see the Crosier's rise.