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Unite ! Unite ! (1890)

Brothers, whom knaves have kept apart,
Unite !
Join hands, in voice and brain and heart,
Unite !
Labour now speaks from every shore,
Its voice resounds the wide world o'er
Awake, arise ! be slaves no more !
United Unite !

To crush a system foul, abhorred,
Unite !
To win for toil a fair reward,
Unite !
To end the base degrading ban
Which robs you of God's gifts to man
To dower a selfish worthless clan,
Unite ! Unite !

Your humble homes with joy to crown,
Unite !
In rural vale and busy town,
Unite !
To drive the locusts from the land,
To stay the grasping miser's hand,
Make now a firm, determined stand ;
Unite ! Unite !

In bonds more sure than tested steel,
Unite !
Soon then the world your power shall feel,
Unite !
No longer cower like well-whipped slaves
Before the Plutocratic knaves
Who crawl to wealth o'er toilers' graves ;
Unite ! Unite !



From the Brisbane newspaper the Worker Saturday 13 December 1890, p. 7.

This poem was published as the 1891 Shearer's Strike was looming. The line "To end the base degrading ban" refers to the Queensland government's draconian laws against the strike. Other memorable lines include "To dower a selfish worthless clan." and "No longer cower like well-whipped slaves Before the Plutocratic knaves."


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory