The Men Upon the Land by George Essex Evans

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   The City folk, they whirl about
      In cab, and tram, and train.
   They grumble at the days of drought,
      They grumble at the rain.
   To comfort wed, and easy ways,
      They fear to soil a hand;
But the men who build the Nation are the men upon the land.

   The City calls, the streets are gay,
      Its pleasures well supplied,
   So of its life-blood every day
      It robs the country side.
   To banks, and shops, and offices,
      Men throng, an eager band:
But the hearts that build the Nation are the men upon the land.

   How shall we make Australia great
      And strong when danger calls
   When half the people of the State
      Are crammed in city walls?
   And the wide heritage we hold
      Lies empty and unmanned,
And the strength that makes a nation is not rooted in the land.

   Break off! Strike out! O -- Come away!
      Be master of your lie!
   A home for every heart to-day
      That fears not toil or strife!
   There's music in the axe's ring
      Swung by a strong right hand,
And the men who make the Nation are the men upon the land.

First published in The Brisbane Courier, 2 February 1906;
and later in
The Cairns Post, 6 November 1928.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 2, 2012 6:51 AM.

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