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Song of the Plough(1925)

It was I who, raised from famine all the hordes and tribes of man ;
I have never ceased, or faltered since the tilth of fields began,
Since the first poor crooked stick was drawn across the wondering earth,
While upon the man who used it all his tribesmen gazed in mirth--
But the wild seeds sprang in blossom more abundant than before,
And the fool who toiled all summer, has the wise man's winter store.
It was I who built Chaldea and the cities on the plain ;
It was Greece arid Rome and Carthage and the opulence of Spain.
When their courtiers walked in scarlet and their queens wore chains of gold
And forgot 'twas I that made them, growing godless folk and bold.
I went over them in judgment and again my cornfields stood
Where their empty courts bowed homage in obsequious multitude.
For the nation that forgets me, in that hour her doom is sealed
By a judgment as from heaven that can never be repealed.

--"P.P., News."


From the NSW newspaper The Northern Star 25 Feb 1925 p. 9.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory