The Secessionist


Henry Lawson

I WORKED awhile with the Anti-Sosh, and I’ve lived with the Anti-Truth;
I shared a room with a saved young man in the days of my sinful youth:
I’ve camped with a raving atheist and tramped with an anarchist,
But I wouldn’t be scen in a public place with a damned secessionist!

I’ve smoked a pipe with a burglar-man and a man who was in for life;
I’ve had a yarn with a murderer (I heard he had killed his wife);
I’ve had a drink with a petty thief and a “three-pea” specialist—
But I wouldn’t be seen in a lonely place with a mean secessionist.

O he is as small as Australia’s great, and as narrow as she is wide!
O he is as mean as the crimps that wait for ships by the harbour’s side!
His carpeted office or gaol-like home (where the kids are coldly kissed)
Are the only spots in this wide, bright world to the narrow secessionist.

Grandfather, father, and son toiled on, and struggled from sea to sea,
And not for the sake of themselves at all, but the nation that was to be;
And the work of men of a hundred years, and Australia’s chance to exist,
He’d damn for the sake of his insect self, would the base secessionist.

O the grand green Bush from the western spurs, and the farmers firm and fond!
O the rolling plains to the skyline fair, and the rolling plains beyond!
O the rolling blue of the sea all round ’neath the morning’s rising mist!
But these are things that can never be seen by the mole secessionist.

By the strength of the Out-Back vote our name as a Commonwealth we wrote,
And the pestering Anti-Australian swarm shall be swept by the Out-Back vote,
He’ll be cracked as a thumb-nailed flea is cracked, with a turn of the careless wrist,
And we’ll wipe the specks from Australia’s name of the crawling secessionist.

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