The Men of Australia [poem, 22 June 1915]

[Editor: A poem with a patriotic theme; written during the First World War. Published in the North-Eastern Advertiser (Scottsdale, Tas.), 22 June 1915.]

The Men of Australia.

The men from the counter and workshop,
The men from the hill and the plain,
The men from the far northern station
Are gathered together again.
They have heard the mute, far-given signal,
They have mused twixt sweet pleasure and right —
The men of the Southern Nation:
The men who have fought the good fight.

The men who have left the wild cattle
On the range in the far “Never-Never”;
The men whom the musket’s rattle
Will still in their wild chase for ever.
From the East, and the West, and the Southlands,
They have sought out the dark from the light:
The men of the Australian nation —
The men who have fought the good fight.

From the canefields of far Northern Queensland,
From the timber mills down in the South,
The word has been passed as if holy;
The sign passed along mouth to mouth.
They have left their dear wives and their mothers,
They have wrestled for right ’gainst might:
The men of the Australian nation —
The men who have fought the good fight.

They have thought of the pain and the conflict,
’Tween duty, and pleasure, and mirth;
They have counted the cost of their offering:
You can count them the salt of the earth.
Not the tears nor appeals of their women,
Nor expediency’s ever false light,
Could turn from their high duty and motive
The men who have fought the good fight.

Then speed them the men of Australia
The man who is giving his life,
The man who is inwardly grieving,
At parting from children and wife.
Their duty is ever their watchword,
As onwards they strive for the right
The men of Australia glorious,
The men who have fought the good fight.

C. A. HECKRATH.
Bridport,
May 16th, 1915.



Source:
North-Eastern Advertiser (Scottsdale, Tas.), 22 June 1915, p. 2

Editor’s notes:
’gainst = (vernacular) against

Never-Never = remote and isolated sparsely-inhabited desert country in Australia (may be rendered with or without a hyphen)

’tween = (vernacular) a contraction of “between”

twixt = (vernacular) a contraction of “betwixt” (i.e. between) (may be spelt with or without an apostrophe: ’twixt, twixt)

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