eurekaSydney
An Australia guided by the spirit of the Eureka Tradition as symbolised by the diggers' flag and oath:
"We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties"

I Accuse Jock Graham
A convict pioneer addresses the "Sesqui-Centenary" celebrations.

We were banished from our own land, from our dear ones in the homeland,
Transported here as felons for activity called crime;
For the fostering of freedom as their lordships all agreed on-
Was as bad as rape and murder in the annals of our time.

We were shipped to young Australia in a convict's grim regalia
From the land of "Truth and Justice" with a stigma and a brand;
We were crucified as Jesus, it was justice thus to seize us,
They had freedom to enslave us in their free Australian land.

So the British law kept driving and the "hell-ships" kept arriving
With the finest sons of Britain, and the worst were good and true
When compared with Pitt, the statesman, and his governmental great men,
And the generals and the gaolers of the rum besotted crew.

We were freemen - we were chattel, we were herded in like cattle,
We had fought against privation by the lordly British huns;
And we fought when we were bartered and our bodies crushed and martyred,
And we handed on our courage to our brave Australian Sons.

Union forming was sedition - a degrading imposition -
To the blue-bloods of the Settlement who then dictated laws,
And the fine old British laggards treated working men as blackguards,
While to-day their deeds of villainy are matters for applause.

Not a word in "Sesqui" blathers of Australia's convict fathers,
But the epauletted puppets are the heroes of renown -
Past and present come together, it's the old "birds of a feather,"
For still my ruling gentlemen, you wear the puppets' gown.

There is gold for decoration while there's hunger in the nation
And ye laud red-coated tyrants as ye toast the natal day,
But if "brave from brave are born," on a not far distant morn
You will learn the real heroes wore a sombre suit of grey.

And for all the blood you've spilled us and for all the times you've killed us,
There shall be a day of reckoning as surely comes the Spring,
For the rebel seed you're sowing it is flourishing and growing,
And you'll answer yet to Labor in the great awakening.

Then a toast ye Labor mortals from beyond death's open portals:
And I bid you see Eureka and the glory of the "crime"-
Take your cue from Peter Lalor, face your would-be fascist gaoler,
And abolish want and hunger in the annals of your time.

Notes

Written in 1938 this poem appeared in the 1945 collection of John (Jock) Graham's poems "Blood on the Coal"