Works in the Herald 1931
On Anzac Day when first the sun
   Looked on the stricken shore below,
Upon a sacrifice begun
   That was to drag thro' years of woe,
There youth, unbloodied and untried,
   Strove for a dear land leagues away,
And, to uphold her honor, died
         On Anzac Day.

They went, not meanly, since they must, But blithely to the sacrifice, Leaving with us a holy trust, They went to pay the utmost price: The price of honor that day won By many a lad, so lately gay, Whose sightless eyes looked to that sun Of Anzac Day.
Theirs the full right to ask of life Her countless treasures for their own, Not bloody agony and strife That folly of old worlds had sown. Yet for their honor, and for ours, They saw no choice but to obey, And found, what hells of pain-filled hours On Anzac Day?
For honor. Is it but a name Now that their memory grows dim In these drab days of peaceful shame When we wage battles no less grim Because no dead bestrow the field And clamorous guns are years away? Yet have we, too, no price to yield For Anzac Day?
For honor! We were proud indeed, Vicarious glory swelled each breast To know our sons had proved the breed, To know our seed had stood the test, To know our kin had played the game As all true men would have them play. Our honor 'twas they raised to fame On Anzac Day.
And shall those men who now conspire With foes more dread than Turk or Hun To drag that honor in the mire Be counted kith to such a son? While hucksters in the market place Would sell it for a hireling's pay, Are we to bear this last disgrace On Anzac Day?
Surely this Honor still means much - Enough to men high in the State To snatch it from the spoiler's clutch And keep that trust inviolate. Surely enough remain to hedge Above that banner passed our way. And save unsullied still the pledge Of Anzac Day.

"C. J. Dennis"
Herald, 22 April 1931, p2

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002