[Editor: This poem by George Stacy was published in The Daily News (Perth, WA), 27 October 1916. It was written in response to the widely-distributed anti-conscription poem “The Blood Vote”.]
And an Answer.
“Why is your face so white, mother?
Why do you choke for breath?”
“Oh, I have dreamt in the night, my son,
That I doomed a man to death.”
“I dreamt, my son, that I left a man
To perish for want of aid,
Though he fought to guard your mother, my son,
For of death he was not afraid.
“He had sweated and bled and starved for us,
Who were nothing of kin to him;
But he fought and wrought till his muscle sagged
And his once clear eye grew dim.
“And though he hoarsely called “Send help!”
No heed I took of his cry;
When ‘Yes’ would have saved him I answered ‘No,’
And I left him there to die.
“As I saw him sink, by numbers slain,
I woke with a frightened scream.
Oh! God, be thanked for His mercy great,
What I saw was only a dream.
“O, little son! O my son!
That dream was a message sent:
To guide my feet in the path aright,
That vision was surely meant.
“To-day I will answer that dream-man’s call,
And thousands will LIVE to bless
Her who for country and country’s sons
Had courage to answer ‘Yes!’”
St. George’s Terrace, Perth.
Without apology to W. R. Winspear, Sydney.
The Daily News (Perth, WA), 27 October 1916, p. 7 (Third Edition)