The Aliens [poem by “Dryblower” Murphy, 8 May 1904]

[Editor: A poem by “Dryblower” Murphy, published in the “Verse and Worse” column in The Sunday Times, 8 May 1904.]

The Aliens.

By Dryblower.

They come not as an open foe
To loot the land with steel and fire,
No barricades to dust they blow,
Or make each home 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!!

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 toll no drum,
When comes this irresistless horde
From out it’s 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 the dust,
The Alien comes —
Beware! Beware!!

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!!

From black Bombay to brown Japan,
The dusky Pagan swells the flood
That, spite the interdicting ban,
Contaminates 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 our maidens and our wives
With many a tawdry, tinselled snare,
To undersap their loyal lives,
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 whatsoe’er you need,
What he demands you promptly pay,
While women of your British breed
Must sell 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 barricade to dust they blow,
Or make each home 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:
The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), 8 May 1904, p. 4

Also published in:
The Clipper (Hobart, Tas.), 9 July 1904, p. 1
The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), 17 November 1935, p. 11 [includes a significantly different stanza]

Editor’s notes:
In the version published in the The Sunday Times on 17 November 1935, the 4th and 5th stanzas are replaced by a different stanza, as follows:

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!

[Editor: Corrected “bannerete” to “bannerette” in two instances.]

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