[Editor: This poem by Grant Hervey was published in Australians Yet and Other Verses, 1913.]
The Need For Men
The world needs Men — the world needs earnest fighters,
Strong men endowed with granite wills ;
The world needs scribes — needs grim, defiant writers
Whose ink like boiling lava spills.
Too long we bow to charlatans and pandars —
Too long we commerce with buffoons ;
Caesars we need, and fiery Alexanders —
A band of resolute dragoons
To charge the ranks of sophistry and error,
To lay all lies and liars low ;
A cohort that shall strike eternal terror
In each disciple of Yes-No.
The world needs Men — the world needs mighty Preachers
To draw mankind to surer goals ;
The world needs Prophets — needs new Seers and Teachers.
Men’s bodies are incarnate souls.
Grey catalogues of saints avail them little —
Why proffer hands they cannot clutch ?
The faiths of yore are clammy, cold and brittle —
They crumble ’neath the eager touch.
Give us a Faith — a faith in this Existence —
Give us a Heaven here below ;
We weary of the mirage in the distance,
We sicken of the vain Yes-No !
The world needs Men — not Mountebanks and Jesters —
Not Pimps and pliant-conscienced Knaves ;
Wrong rankles still — malignantly it festers,
And all the earth is full of graves ;
The world needs Men — Oh, don’t you hear it asking ?
The world needs you — it needs you Now.
The world needs Men to set them to their tasking,
Behind the potent era-plough ;
The world needs us — it calls us to our labour —
The world needs US, and we must go ;
And we must work — must draw the mighty sabre
Against the Yes that is mostly No.
Grant Hervey. Australians Yet and Other Verses, Thomas C. Lothian, Melbourne, 1913, pages 30-31
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