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The Song I Want to Sing (1927)

No classic muse my strain inspires
To wizardry of flashing song ;
I have no lyre among the lyres
That to the Austral choir belong.
The godlike gift I seek withal
That crowns the poet o'er the king,
To wed to numbers magical
The song I want to sing.

Not mine the lay of court or camp,
I far prefer a workshop theme
O'er which to burn the mid light lamp
And dream the poet's dream.
My heroes are those mighty men
That make the forge and foundry ring,
That swing a pick or wield a pen ;
Their song I want to sing.

Within their world of care and gloom,
Set in a dump, dark atmosphere,
I've seen the rose of Jove in bloom,
The flame of brotherhood shine clear.
With spirits tempered to endure
The roughest spin that Fate may fling,
The poor are loyal to the poor ;
Wherefore their song I'd sing.

At eve I don my poet's stole,
The day in glory dying,
And walk with worship in my soul
Where vesper winds are sighing
Response to swans that westward wing
Their way with plaintive murmuring,
And there I pray for grace to sing
The song I want to sing.



From the Brisbane newspaper the Worker Wednesday 10 August 1927, p. 10.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory