A War Song [by Caleb, 22 October 1892]

[Editor: This pro-union song was published in The Worker (Brisbane, Qld.), 22 October 1892.]

A War Song.

Rise! Australian sons of Labour,
Hearken to the bugle’s bray,
Buckle on your shield and sabre,
Gird you for the fray.

Burst the Tyrant’s chains asunder
Which for ages you have worn;
Fear not the oppressor’s thunder.
Hail our country’s morn!

Freedom is our only watchword,
Union is our greatest strength;
Soon our voices shall be heard
O’er earth’s breadth and length.

Waste no force in wordy warfare,
Actions only now can save;
In this struggle all must share:
Victory crowns the brave.

Man the ballot-box, I tell you,
Raze that House which overawes,
Spurn the tyrants who would quell you.
Justice first, then laws.

March on comrades to the battle;
Up, and at them! Sound alarms!
When we hear th’ election’s rattle,
Comrades, then to arms!


The Worker (Brisbane, Qld.), 22 October 1892, p. 4

Also published in:
The Worker (Wagga Wagga, NSW), 29 October 1892 , p. 4

Editor’s notes:
gird = surround; to encircle or bind with a band or belt; to fasten or secure with a band or belt (used in the expression “gird your loins”, i.e. to put on or tighten your belt, in order to prepare for an effort needing endurance or strength)

House = in a political context, a reference to Parliament House; also, in the context of Australian colonial or state politics, the Legislative Assembly (the House of Assembly); or, in the context of the Australian federal politics, the House of Representatives

morn = morning

o’er = (archaic) over (pronounced the same as “oar”, “or”, and “ore”)

th’ = (vernacular) the

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