Works in the Herald 1934

In a wireless talk, an Australian professor, recently returned from Russia, while admitting the wonderful progress achieved in industry, social services and general culture there, declared that, under the Soviet system, with its restrictions and inhibitions, must inevitably arise, not a race of free men, but of robots.

See what our masters here devise,
   Unto our good and great content,
We who are meek, as they are wise,
Who strip the land of ancient lies,
   That kept all men in serfdom pent.
Behold our ordered freedom here,
   Ye who still grovel in the pen,
Enchained by superstitious fear.
   Yet, pity us, who once were men.

Our lives are moulded to a plan,
   Our ways are set within a pale
Whose guardians seek to make of man
A thing that, since the world began
   Has ne'er arisen, save to fail.
Toilers in mundane comforts decked,
   Of culture far beyond your ken;
We are of earth, the earth's elect;
   Yet, pity us, who once were men.

Altho', with boundless enterprise,
   We toil to leaven human stress,
There is a veil past which our eyes
May never peer, if we be wise.
   In duly rationed happiness,
Drift by our ordered nights and days,
   With rule, and rote and regimen.
O ye, who cleave to error's ways,
   Pity us, who once were men.

Worldlings who never may emerge
   From worldy mists, and hope to see
At faith's imponderable verge
What stirs in men that nameless urge
   To brotherhood and decency.
O ye, who still claim right to choose,
   Accept, reject, accept again --
O ye, who still have souls to lose,
   Pity us, who once were men.

Herald, 9 June 1934, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003-04