Hello Digger! by C.J. Dennis

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Mr. Hugh J. Ward's novel War Memorial appeal plan, whereby every telephone subscriber will be asked to contribute, was enthusiastically launched at the Legacy Club's luncheon yesterday. Each member of the club has been allotted ten pages of the telephone directory, and undertakes to appeal to all the subscribers whose names appear in his section.

Hello!  Do you remember, friend of mine,
   The promise we made long years ago?
The sky was clouded then, and suns that shine
   On peaceful days, we hardly hoped to know
Ever again.  For your dear friends and mine,
Had marched for victory -- or anodyne.

The Anzacs!  It was scarcely then a word
   Familiar to our ears.  But do you hear
His voice -- his precious voice come back to you
   Who rests today beside a coastline drear.
Saying, "I did my little for a friend
And -- must we be forgotten in the end."

Hello! When you pick up the 'phone today
   And hear -- not as a favor but a right,
That those who won for us the glorious day
   Shall not be shrouded in oblivious night:
Is it a living voice that answers you,
Or some lost friend that long ago you know? 

The Anzacs!  Every man who has a hear
   Keeps there enshrined, an intimate, so dear.
The memory of one who played his part
   That we, in peaceful days, might linger here --
Living -- And, selfishly, shall it be said
We took the payment -- and -- forgot our dead?

Hello!  You in your office snugly squat,
   Pick up the 'phone: all safe in peaceful days.
And suddenly, a voice long, long forgot
   Comes in an undertone, and, pleading says:
"Do you forget us, digger?  Is the cost
So much ... so much, against all we lost?"

The Anzacs!  They are calling you today.
   A long-stilled voice mayhap, comes to your ear --
A voice familiar, that perchance might say
   "Remember those whom once you held so dear."
And, listening, don't forget, the man who seeks
Remembrance ... Brother!  'Tis an Anzac speaks!

First published in The Herald, 12 April 1928

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 12, 2013 5:22 PM.

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