[Editor: A poem by “Kookaburra”. Published in The Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser and Diamond Creek Valley Advocate, 12 August 1921.]
Oh, can you tell me mother, dear,
Why is the world so sad and drear?
Why when we read our daily page,
Why does it storm and vent its rage?
But this do tell me mother, dear,
Tell me what is a profiteer?
These profiteers are they, my child,
Whose fathers came when all was wild;
They left the motherland to roam
That here they’d find a peaceful home;
’Twas many times they risked their lives,
They and their patient trusting wives.
Then through the wild and trackless bush
These sturdy yeoman made their push.
Some brought their herds and some their sheep,
And o’er the blacks strict watch must keep,
Who quickly found the farmers ewe
More easy prey than Kangaroo.
They came to where the land was good,
And carved a home from out the wood.
At morn they heard the laughing Jack,
And the echo of the trusty axe.
At night they heard the dingoes howl,
And the mournful hoot of the mopoke owl.
They braved the floods, endured the drought,
Put trust in God and did not doubt,
When devastating fire came,
And all was swept by fearful flame;
Re-built the home, renewed the herd,
Misfortune left them undeterred.
They coaxed the virgin land to give
Sufficient food that they may live.
No pension right were theirs to gain,
The land for them must all contain;
And there they lived, and there they died,
Those pioneers, Australia’s pride.
Their sons did profit from the toil,
Of they who opened up the soil,
Who, though discomfort did endure,
Still made themselves a home secure,
And ’tis these sons in later years,
Who now are called the Profiteers.
The Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser and Diamond Creek Valley Advocate (Hurstbridge, Vic.), 12 August 1921, p. 4
laughing Jack = a kookaburra (a bird also known as a “laughing jackass” due to the sound of its call)
o’er = over (pronounced the same as “oar”, “or”, and “ore”)