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Stand Together, Men, As Brothers

A Song by Frederick Clarence Kendall©Kendall 1891

Stand together, men, as brothers,
While the last long battle rages ;
Nobler far, our fight than others,
Than the selfish strife of ages.
Now no robber's tower defending,
Now about no cruel throne ;
Not with brother slaves contending,
Purposeless, oppressed alone.

No ! Our battle-field is vaster,
And around the changing world
Now our armies gather faster--
Faster round the flag unfurled.
Hearts that feel for hearts of others,
Count the distances as dreams ;
And when men seek men their brothers
Oceans are as little streams.

Land to land the watchword passes,
Freedom flashes zone to zone
As the armies of the masses
Stand together for their own.
Stand together, men, as brothers !
Shall we look behind us now
At the past that blinds and smothers ?
No ! The light is on our brow.

While he sneers, see ! Mammon shivers ;
While he lies, ah ! Mammon, fears ;
For the blood he shed in rivers
Floats us to the fuller years.
Often to the heart a hollow,
Sinking voice may seem to say :
"Fevered man, the dream you follow
"Leads you but an endless way.

"Bitter journey of the ages !
"Ever gleams the mirage sweet,
"And along the stricken stages
"Ye must drag your bleeding feet."
But a pulse of high sensation,
Nuture'd in us, spurns the lie;
We can make a consummation--
Hunger, toil for it and die.

Though the deep, dark, hidden river
Plunges in the cavern gloom--
Where the long, loud echoes quiver,
Dying in the depths of doom--
Soon beneath the bright day gleaming,
Lo ! it lingers lit with love,
And the cool, white moonlight, streaming,
Trickles through the leaves above.

So from out the past of sorrow
On we toil into the light,
While the music of the morrow
Breaks into the dark to-night.
Stand together, men, as brothers !
Lo ! the light is on our brow.
Sneer and doubt we leave to others ;
Ours' to conquer Mammon now.

--F. C. Kendall.
Sydney, 1891.


From the Illawarra Mercury 21 April 1891. The song was also published in the Kiama Independent, and Shoalhaven Advertiser 24 April 1891.

[The following lines were sent to the Australian Workman by F. C. Kendall, a son of the late Henry Kendall, Australia's sweetest singer in verse and metric. The lines would indicate that the younger Kendall has inherited some of his father's genius, and the subject shows that he possesses the same feeling and kindly heart as the gifted but unfortunate prince of Australian poets.]


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory