Men Of Australia

Men of all the lands Australian from the Gulf to Derwent River,
From the Heads of Sydney Harbour to the waters of the West,
There’s a spirit loudly calling where the saplings dip and quiver,
Where the city crowds are thronging, and the range uplifts its crest!
Do ye feel the holy fervour of a new-born exultation?
For the task the Lord has set us is a trust of noblest pride—
We are named to march unblooded to the winning of a nation,
And to crown her with a glory that may evermore abide.
Have ye looked to great old nations, have ye wondered at their making,
Seen their fair and gracious cities, gemmed with palaces of light,
Felt the pulse of mighty engines beating ever, never slaking,
Like the sandalled feet of Progress moving onward in the night?
Can ye stand on some high headland when the drowsy day is fading,
And in dreamlike fancy see a merchant fleet upon the seas,
See the pinioned ships majestic ’gainst the purple even sailing
And the busy steamers racing down to half a thousand quays?

Have ye dreamed of this or seen of this, and feel ye no elation
O’er the most heroic duty that a free-born people knows?
To the chain of kindred nations ours to link another nation,
Ours to stay and build and bless her for a future great as those!
Cold and sordid hearts may linger still to bargain over trifles,
But the big-souled men have only hate for huckstering and sloth;
These would batter down division, tear away the bonds that stifle,
And would free our dear Australia for the larger, nobler growth.

Bushmen, roaming on the ridges, tracking “colours” to their sources,
Swinging axes by the rivers where the millsaws rend and shriek
Smoking thoughtful pipes, or dreaming on your slow, untroubled horses,
While the lazy cattle feed along the track or ford the creek,
Ye have known our country’s moods in all her wild and desert places,
Ye have felt the sweet, strange promptings that her solitudes inspire;
To have breathed the spirit of her is to love her—turn your faces,
Ride like lovers when the day dawns, ride to serve her, son and sire!

Miners in the dripping workings, farmers, pioneers who settle
On the bush lands, city workers of the benches and the marts,
Swart mechanics at the forges, beating out the glowing metal,
Thinkers, planners, if ye feel the love of country stir your hearts,
Help to write the bravest chapter of a fair young nation’s story
Great she’ll be as Europe’s greatest, more magnificent in truth!
That our children’s children standing in the rose light of her glory
May all honour us who loved her, and who crowned her in her youth!

A Friendly Game Of Football

We were challenged by The Dingoes - they're the pride of Squatter's Gap-
To a friendly game of football on the flat by Devil's Trap.
And we went along on horses, sworn to triumph in the game,
For the honour of Gyp's Diggings, and the glory of the same.

And we took the challenge with us. It was beautiful to see,
With its lovely curly letters, at its pretty filigree.
It was very gently worded, and it made us all feel good,
For it breathed the sweetest sentiments of peace and brotherhood.

We had Chang, and Trucker Hogan, and the man who licked The Plug,
Also Heggarty, and Hoolahan, and Peter Scott, the pug;
And we wore our knuckle-dusters, and we took a keg on tap
To our friendly game of football with The Dingoes at The Gap.

All the fellows came to meet us, and we spoke like brothers dear.
They'd a tip-dray full of tucker, and a waggon load of beer,
And some lint done up in bundles; so we reckoned there'd be fun
Ere our friendly game of football with the Dingo Club was done.

Their umpire was a homely man, a stranger to the push,
With a sweet, deceitful calmness, and a flavour of the bush.
He declared he didn't know the game, but promised on his oath
To see fair and square between the teams, or paralyse them both.

Then we bounced the ball and started, and for twenty minutes quite
We observed a proper courtesy and a heavenly sense of right,
But Fitzpatrick tipped McDougal in a handy patch of mud,
And the hero rose up, chewing dirt, and famishing for blood.

Simple Simonsen, the umpire, sorted out the happy pair,
And he found a pitch to suit them, and we left them fighting there;
But The Conqueror and Cop-Out met with cries of rage and pain,
And wild horses couldn't part those ancient enemies again.

So the umpire dragged them from the ruck, and pegged them off a patch,
And then gave his best attention to the slugging and the match.
You could hardly wish to come across a fairer-minded chap
For a friendly game of football than that umpire at The Gap.

In a while young Smith, and Henty, and Blue Ben, and Dick, and Blake,
Chose their partners from The Dingoes, and went pounding for the cake.
Timmy Hogan hit the umpire, and was promptly put to bed
'Neath the ammunition waggon, with a bolus on his head.

Feeling lonely-like, Magee took on a local star named Bent,
And four others started fighting to avoid an argument:
So Simonsen postponed the game, for fear some slight mishap
Might disturb the pleasant feeling then prevailing at The Gap.

Sixty seconds later twenty lively couples held the floor,
And the air was full of whiskers, and the grass was tinged with gore,
And the umpire kept good order in the interests of peace,
Whilst the people, to oblige him, sat severely on the p'lice.

Well, we fought the friendly game out, but I couldn't say who won;
We were all stretched out on shutters when the glorious day was done;
Both the constables had vanished; one was carried off to bunk,
And the umpire was exhausted, and the populace was drunk.

But we've written out a paper, with good Father Feeley's aid,
Breathing brotherly affection; and the challenge is conveyed
To the Dingo Club at Squatter's, and another friendly game
Will eventuate at this end, on the flat below the claim.

We have pressed The Gap to bring their central umpire if they can-
Here we honestly admire him as a fair and decent man-
And we're building on a pleasant time beside the Phoenix slums,
For The Giant feels he's got a call to plug him if he comes.

HE WAS working on a station in the Western when I knew him,
And he came from Conongamo, up the old surveyors’ track,
And the fellows all admitted that no man in Vic. could ‘do him,’
Since he’d smothered Stonewall Menzie, also Anderson, the black.
Bob was modelled for a fighter, but he’d run to beef a trifle;
For his science every rouseabout was satisfied to vouch,
And Red Fogarty advised us he delivered like a rifle,
And his stopping—well, beside him Harry Sallars was a slouch.

Not a man of us had met him till he settled on the station—
This was early in the Sixties, what we call the good old days—
And it’s cheerfully admitted Robert owed his reputation
To a crippled jaw, a broken nose, and eyes that looked both ways.
We were certain on the face of it our guess was not an error,
Every feature of his phiz was marked, his chin was pulled askew,
And The Critic passed the office: ‘Bet your buttons he’s a terror!
That’s the man who hammered Kelly on The Creek in Fifty-two!’

Bob was not a shrinking blossom, and he held the first impressions
By his subsequent admissions to the ringers and the mugs,
And he let himself be tickled into casual confessions
Of his battles with the bruisers and the scientific pugs.
How he’d mangled Matty Hardy was his earliest narration;
He’d completely flummoxed Kitchen, and had made the climate hot
For Maloney, Fee, and Curran. It was quite a consolation
When he graciously informed us that he hadn’t licked the lot.

The arrival of the Wonder gave a spurt to local science,
And we had an exhibition every evening in the week,
For the lightest joke was answered in the lingo of defiance,
And our blood was cast like water on the grasses by the creek.
Every fellow but the stranger had his scrap or rough-and-tumble;
No one thought of looking ugly at the slugger, Battered Bob;
And whene’er the boys addressed him ’twas in language choice and humble,—
Though they ached to see him beaten, none was anxious for the job.

How we honoured Bob, and yielded to his later information;
Let him lead in all the arguments, and gently run the ranche!
And a very small potato was the owner of the station
By the man who slaughtered Melody and fought a draw with Blanche.
Battered Bob became our champion, our boss, and by degrees he
Sent his fame down to the Wannon, and right up to Spooner’s Gap,
And he scooped the honours smiling, and he held them just as easy,
For we’d never seen him shape yet, and he hadn’t fought a tap.

We’d a cook whose name was Han Cat—he was short, and fat, and yellow,
Just a common, ugly Chinky, with a never ending smile.
Bob was careful to avoid the corns of any other fellow,
But he filled Han Cat with sorrow, and he whaled him all the while.
Han Cat groaned and bore it meekly, and we didn’t care to figure
In the antics of the Champion or his little private rows.
Robert said, ‘I like a native, and I’ll liquor with a nigger,
But I hate the skin and colour of these sanguinary Chows!’

On a certain Sunday morning Robert slyly cut a section
Off the pig-tail of the pagan—’twas Han’s glory and his pride—
But the trouble that came after is his saddest recollection,
And the boys were so disgusted that they very nearly died.
Han Cat wept a while, and then he turned and scowled as black as thunder,
And he cursed the grinning spoiler till he had to stop for breath:
When he shaped up like a Christian, and he waltzed into the Wonder,
We arranged a ring, and waited for the heathen’s sudden death.

Oh! the sorrow of that Sunday! Oh! the shame and degradation!
The chaps were simply paralyzed, and everyone was dumb,
For the heathen pushed the battle in the fashion of our nation,
And he countered in a way that made the Wonder fairly hum.
‘Bob is fooling Han,’ we murmured, ‘he’ll surprise him in a minute—
Soon he’ll rise to this occasion, and display his proper form!’
But, alas! we’d nursed a viper, for our pug was never in it—
And he couldn’t battle well enough to keep the Pagan warm.

Han Cat beat our battered champion, beat the conqueror of Menzie,
And he towed him round the paddock like a dummy stuffed with hair,
And we never stirred to interfere and stop the Chinky’s frenzy
When he jumped upon the Wonder in a manner most unfair.
You must fancy all our sorrow, and our shame and indignation,
For pen can never, never tell how horrified we felt.
In the morning Little Finney, for the credit of the station,
Hammered Han in stylish fashion with one fist tucked in his belt.

As for Robert, we discussed him in a serious convention,
And resolved that we were victims of a duffer’s awful skite,
And we put it up to tar him; but he dropped to our intention,
And he skipped, without a character, for Hamilton that night.
There’s a moral, boys: Don’t think a mangled boko is a token
That a fellow is a fighter, as a simple thing of course;
Like Battered Bob, he may have had his features bent and broken
Through his carelessness when drunk in being walked on by a horse.