White-Collar Spaniard

We have no heart for civil strife,
Our burdens we prefer to bear;
We long to live a peaceful life
And claim of happiness our share.
If only to be clothed and fed
And see our children laugh and play -
That means a lot when all is said,
In this grim treadmill of today.

The price of manhood is too high
When leap the sacrificial flames;
For Justice we refuse to die:
Honour and Pride are empty names.
We will not play the martyr's part,
We will not perish for a Cause;


When the Children Come Home

On a lonely selection far out in the West
An old woman works all the day without rest,
And she croons, as she toils 'neath the sky's glassy dome,
`Sure I'll keep the ould place till the childer come home.'

She mends all the fences, she grubs, and she ploughs,
She drives the old horse and she milks all the cows,
And she sings to herself as she thatches the stack,
`Sure I'll keep the ould place till the childer come back.'

It is five weary years since her old husband died;


Whose are the little beds, I asked

142

Whose are the little beds, I asked
Which in the valleys lie?
Some shook their heads, and others smiled—
And no one made reply.

Perhaps they did not hear, I said,
I will inquire again—
Whose are the beds—the tiny beds
So thick upon the plain?

'Tis Daisy, in the shortest—
A little further on—
Nearest the door—to wake the Ist—
Little Leontoden.

'Tis Iris, Sir, and Aster—
Anemone, and Bell—
Bartsia, in the blanket red—
And chubby Daffodil.


Where bells no more affright the morn

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Where bells no more affright the morn—
Where scrabble never comes—
Where very nimble Gentlemen
Are forced to keep their rooms—

Where tired Children placid sleep
Thro' Centuries of noon
This place is Bliss—this town is Heaven—
Please, Pater, pretty soon!

"Oh could we climb where Moses stood,
And view the Landscape o'er"
Not Father's bells—nor Factories,
Could scare us any more!


Widow and Very Special Mother

In nineteen hundred twenty four,
Because our father died,
Our mother had to go to work,
And swallow family pride.
She had three youngsters then to raise;
It was no easy task;
For handout or for charity,
She wouldn't ever ask.

She paid her way, and theirs, as well,
An everlasting grind:
Example of the highest type
That one could ever find.
From typist to important jobs,
Advancing all the way;
Was dedicated to her work,
And she was there to stay.


Why

The little child crosses the street--
Why does she wave to me?
What sees she in my wasted form
To hail so joyously?

Her olive face and curly hair
Are tidings of earth-peace,
Her golden smile's a wreath of joy
That bids my sorrows cease.

To me she is a fairy sprite--
A heavenly harbringer
Whose sun-kissed eyes are songs of God--
But what am I to her?


Why We Tell Stories

For Linda Foster


I
Because we used to have leaves
and on damp days
our muscles feel a tug,
painful now, from when roots
pulled us into the ground

and because our children believe
they can fly, an instinct retained
from when the bones in our arms
were shaped like zithers and broke
neatly under their feathers

and because before we had lungs
we knew how far it was to the bottom
as we floated open-eyed
like painted scarves through the scenery


Why the Jackass Laughs

The Boastful Crow and the Laughing Jack
Were telling tales of the outer back:
"I've just been travelling far and wide,
At the back of Bourke and the Queensland side;
There isn't a bird in the bush can go
As far as me," said the old black crow.
"There isn't a bird in the bush can fly
A course as straight or a course as high.
Higher than human eyesight goes.

There's sometimes clouds -- but there's always crows,
Drifting along for a scent of blood
Or a smell of smoke or a sign of flood.


Why Art Thou Thus Cast Down, My Heart

Why art thou thus cast down, my heart?
Why troubled, why dost mourn apart,
O'er nought but earthly wealth?
Trust in thy God, be not afraid,
He is thy Friend who all things made.

Dost think thy prayers He doth not heed?
He knows full well what thou dost need,
And heaven and earth are His;
My Father and my God, who still
Is with my soul in every ill.

Since Thou my God and Father art,
I know Thy faithful loving heart
Will ne'er forget Thy child;
See I am poor, I am but dust,


Who Understands Me But Me

They turn the water off, so I live without water,
they build walls higher, so I live without treetops,
they paint the windows black, so I live without sunshine,
they lock my cage, so I live without going anywhere,
they take each last tear I have, I live without tears,
they take my heart and rip it open, I live without heart,
they take my life and crush it, so I live without a future,
they say I am beastly and fiendish, so I have no friends,
they stop up each hope, so I have no passage out of hell,


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