Flag of the Southern Cross by Henry Lawson

Flag of the Southern Cross
1887

Sons of Australia, be loyal and true to her —
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross!
Sing a loud song to be joyous and new to her —
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross!
Stain’d with the blood of the diggers who died by it,
Fling out the flag to the front, and abide by it —
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross!

See how the toadies of Austral throw dust o’er her —
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross!
We who are holding her honour in trust for her —
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross!
See how the yellow-men next to her lust for her,
Sooner or later to battle we must for her —
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross.

Beg not of England the right to preserve ourselves,
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross,
We are the servants best able to serve ourselves,
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross.
What are our hearts for, and what are our hands for?
What are we nourished in these southern lands for?
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross.

Shall we in fear of the Dragon or Bruin* now
Keep back the flag of the Southern Cross?
Better to die on a field of red ruin now,
Under the flag of the Southern Cross.
Let us stand out like the gallant Eureka men —
Give not our country the sorrow to seek her men —
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross!

See how the loyal are storing up shame for us
Under the light of the Southern Cross.
Never! Oh! never be coward a name for us —
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross!
England’s red flag will bring hatred and worse to it,
Murder and rapine hath brought a black curse to it;
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross!

Have we not breasts for the bullets of thunderers?
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross!
Have we not steel for the bosoms of plunderers?
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross!
Prove ourselves worthy the land we inherit now,
Feed till it blazes the National spirit now!
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross!

Let us be bold, be it daylight or night for us —
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross!
Let us be firm — with our God and our right for us,
Under the flag of the Southern Cross!
Austral is fair, and the idlers in strife for her
Plunder her, sneer at her, suck the young life from her!
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross!

Fling out the flag to the front, and abide by it —
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross!
Stand by the blood of the diggers who died by it —
Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross!
Fling out the flag to the front, and be brave for it.
Liberty! Light! or a battle-field grave for it!
Bonny bright flag of the Southern Cross!

Henry Lawson

Henry Lawson
Born: 17 June 1867, Grenfell, Australia
Nationality: Australian
Died: 2 September 1922, Abbotsford, Australia

Lawson was a writer and bush poet. He is one of the best-known Australian poets and fiction writers of the colonial period. The son of the poet, publisher and feminist Louisa Lawson he was a vocal nationalist and republican and regularly contributed to The Bulletin helping to popularise the Australian vernacular in fiction writing. After he died in 1922 he became the first Australian writer to be granted a state funeral.

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