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My Song Unsung (1903)
(For the Worker.)
I had it in my mind to write a song,
In chosen words, upon a cherished theme,
Recording all I hope and all I dream.
But hope flies from me as Time rolls along,
And, though I dream, my song remains unsung ;
For, when I wake, the words forsake my tongue.
Ah, me ! I fear I shall not sing my song.
I have scant leisure for the theme I prize,
And may not sing it yet as one who sings,
Holding his task above all holy things--
The highest bliss to which his soul may rise--
The purpose and the sole desire of life,
But all the days are full of stress and strife,
And turbulence, and frenzy wild and wrong.
Hopes die, dreams fade, with every fleeting year,
And all the bitter toil-worn time I fear--
Ah me ! I fear I shall not sing my song.
From the WA newspaper the Westralian Worker Friday 9 October 1903, p. 2.
As one of the leaders of the 1891 Australian shearers' strike, Julian Stuart was jailed and sentenced to three years' imprisonment with hard labour. Upon release from jail, he worked for the Labour Electoral League, the forerunner of the New South Wales Labor Party. In 1902, he was elected to the Board of the Westralian Worker, Western Australia's first labor newspaper, and then as editor in 1903. By this time, he was also a regular contributor to The Bulletin. In 1906, he was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly as Member for Mount Leonora. Read more about Julian Stuart
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory