My Army, O, My Army! and Other Songs

The Unknown God

A Phantasy of Optimism.

Henry Lawson

THE PRESIDENT to Kingdoms,
    As in the Days of Old;
The King to the Republic,
    As it had been foretold.
They could not read the spelling,
    They would not hear the call;
They would not brook the telling
    Of Writing on the Wall.

I buy my Peace with Slaughter,
    With Peace I fashion War;
I drown the land with water,
    With land I build the shore.
I walk with Son and Daughter
    Where Ocean rolled before.
I build a town where sea was
    A tower where tempests roar.

From bays in distant islands,
    And rocks in lonely seas,
With unseen Death in silence
    I smite mine enemies!
The great Cathedral crashes
    Where once a city stood;
I build again on ashes
    And breed on clotted blood!

I link the seas together,
    And at my sign and will
The train runs on the ocean bed,
    The great ship climbs the hill!
For pastime I flood deserts
    With water from the rill;
And in my tireless leisure hours
I empty lakes, and fill.

I plumb the seas beneath us
    And fathom skies above,
Yet I make Peace for hatred
    And I make War for love.
I race beneath the ranges
    And sit where Mystery dwells—
Yet mankind sees no changes,
    They ask for “miracles!”

I own the world and span its
    Lone lands from Pole to Pole;
I live in other planets,
    Yet do not know my soul—
The soul that none may fathom,
    Whose secrets none may tell,
The soul that none may humble,
    The Soul Unconquerable!

I am the God of Ages!
    I am the Unknown God!
My life is written pages
    Wherever man hath trod.
From bounds of Polar regions,
    To where the Desert reigns,
I’ve left my myriad legions
    On countless vanished plains.

And I shall reign for ever
    On earth while oceans roll,
In shape of man, or woman,
    Through my immortal soul;
Yet I can love and suffer,
    Be angry, or be mild,
And I can bow me down and weep
    Just like a mortal child.

I conquer Death and Living,
    And Fiends in shape of men,
For I rejoice in giving
    Not to receive again.
For I am Man!—and Mortal!
    And Mammon’s Towers must fall,
Though Greed draws all his pencils through
    The Writing on the Wall!

My Army, O, My Army! - Contents

Back    |    Words Home    |    Lawson Home    |    Site Info.    |    Feedback