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"

Eureka by Nathan F. Spielvogel

On the slopes of Eureka I stood in the twilight.
By the pillar and guns that shrine "Fifty-four";
There were pine trees soft sighing, and gay children playing,
Where the diggers had dared to assemble to war.

In the gloaming came slowly a man, old and feeble,
All was grim, save his eyes, which were gleaming with pride.
"You were here?" I inquired, and he murmured "Aye! Aye! Sir!"
"Come tell me the tale how these traitors here died."

"Call you traitors," he cried, and his hands clenched in anger,
"Call you traitors my comrades who came here to die!
My comrades who won you the freedom you boast of!
If these men were traitors. look you here, so was I.

"When we cried for our rights they sent soldiers to crush us,
Then we fought-did not Cromwell and Pym show us how?
Did not Langton and Montfort win for us our birthright?
It was Freedom's Fight then-it is treachery now.

"So they crushed us and tore our blue cross into ribbons,
And they drove us in chains to the yard of the jail,
Then they tried us for treason, but the hearts of the people
Were with us and freed us-and that is my tale.

"Call you traitors the men who have settled for ever
That Australians shall always have voice in their laws,
That the laws of the people be made by the people ?
Sir! here fell these traitors, and that was their cause,

"Call you traitors-Heigh ho! I forgot I was eighty,
For a moment I lost my stiff limbs and my pains;
Just a little more work and a little more slumber,
And then-but you won't call us traitors again."

"Were they traitors or heroes, these men of Eureka ?"
So I mused as old Braveheart went slowly away;
"In this fight they had lost, had they won us the freedom
We sons of Australia are proud of to-day?"

On the slopes of Eureka I dreamed in the darkness.
Till each stone on the hill was a dead diggers ghost,
Then I stretched out my hands and cried, "Martyrs of Freedom.
Australia has claimed you, her pride and her boast."

*NOTE.--Ballaa-rat in aboriginal language means "resting place." Here used to mean "graves."


This poem is in 'The Eureka Affair' by Nathan F. Spielvogel, published in Ballarat in 1928 by J.Frazer & Son.