The Aliens [poem by “Dryblower” Murphy, 1926]

[Editor: This poem by “Dryblower” Murphy was published in Dryblower’s Verses (1926).]

The Aliens.

They come not as an open foe
To loot the land with steel and fire,
No barricades to dust they blow,
No landmark make a lurid pyre.
They bear no bannerette of war:
No trumpet forth a challenge yells
From grim-built battleships to shore,
They rain no hell-invented shells.
But still they war and still they win;
They claim, and get, the victor’s share.
Swarthy of heart as well as skin,
The Alien comes —
Beware! Beware!

Along the street no shrapnel shrieks,
No rifle spits its venomed lead;
No hasty-dug entrenchment reeks
With piles of disembowelled dead.
They bear no bayonet, lance or sword,
They blare no brass, they roll no drum;
When comes this irresistless horde
From out its Mediterranean slum.
From where the stench of Lisbon’s dock
Pollutes the olive-scented air,
From plague-infected Antioch
The Alien comes —
Beware! Beware!

Along the Adriatic shore
Where swarming, beggars whine and weep
The tramp-ship shudders as they pour
Into her vitals dark and deep;
From old Cadiz to Thessaly,
From Montenegro down to Said,
They swarm across the Indian Sea
To swell the beetle-browed brigade,
To cheat the Briton of his crust:
To take what he and his should share;
To drag Australia to his dust.
The Alien comes —
Beware! Beware!

From Cairo to the Yellow Sea,
The dusky pagan swells the flood,
The Ghan, the Kurd, and Atchinee
Are blending with Australia’s blood.
Across a land once virgin-good
A trail of greed and lust he leaves,
And o’er its virile nationhood
Degeneration’s spell he weaves,
To tempt the fickle and the frail
With many a tawdry, tinselled snare,
To buy where beauty is for sale
The Alien comes —
Beware! Beware!

In hovels never cleansed nor aired,
On which the Law indulgent looks,
He serves you dainty meals prepared
From filthy food by filthier cooks.
He laundries what so’er you need,
What he demands, you promptly pay,
While women of a white man’s breed
Barter their honor day by day.
He sells you fruits of Mother Earth
That ripened in his loathsome lair,
To blast the land that gave you birth.
The Alien comes —
Beware! Beware!

* * * *

They come not as an open foe
To loot the land with steel and fire,
No barricades to dust they blow,
No landmark make a lurid pyre.
They bear no bannerette of war:
No trumpet forth a challenge yells
From grim-built battleship to shore,
They rain no hell-invented shells;
But still they war and still they win,
They claim, and get, the victor’s share.
Swarthy of heart as well as skin,
The Alien comes —
Beware! Beware!




Source:
Edwin Greenslade Murphy, Dryblower’s Verses, Perth, W.A.: E. G. Murphy, 1926, pages 42-43

Previously published (with some differences) in:
The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), 8 May 1904, p. 4
Dryblower, Jarrahland Jingles: A Volume of Westralian Verse, Perth (W.A.): R.S. Sampson for Sunday Times, 1908, pages 41-44

Editor’s notes:
Atchinee = (also, “Atchinese”, “Achinese”) someone from Atchin (also known as Achin; later known as Aceh), a region in the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra

The version of this poem published in The Sunday Times, 8 May 1904, had several differences, including an extra stanza (placed after the “Along the Adriatic shore” stanza):

They man the mines while workers born
Beneath the scintillating Cross
Are ordered off in sneering scorn,
By Cohen’s High, Panjandrum Joss;
They smudge our land’s initial page,
For paltry pence they snarl and stab;
They undercut the worker’s wage,
For each at heart’s a loathsome scab;
To rob the babe which, famished, drains
Its mother’s bosom gaunt and bare;
To hoard his blood-begotten gains,
The Alien comes —
Beware! Beware!

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