Men of Brisbane

Year: 1915

by Thomas G Rabbets   

 There was only one volunteer after yesterday's great recruiting meeting, held in Market-square, as the climax of the March of the Dungarees. Only 10 per cent of all the recruits have come from Brisbane.

They come in from the country, they trudge in from the town,
The loyal men, the splendid men, with faces grimly brown;
Not theirs to stick at trifles, in discontent to whine;
Their's but to answer Britain's call and join the fighting line.

Where are ye, men of Brisbane?
Why stand ye thus apart?
Your brothers' deathless courage
Should nerve the faintest heart.
Have ye no thought of duty?
No gratitude at all?
Each true man here must volunteer
At Greater Britain's call.

Men leave the farm – its tillage is secondary now;
Men leave the quiet village to join men from the plough;
They'll fight for God and country until their lives be spent;
But – Brisbane's total quota is a meagre ten per cent!

What do ye, men of Brisbane?
Why stand, ye idly by,
While young men from the country
Go forth to do or die?
Some one must fight for Queensland!
Some one must fight for home!
Across the sea there comes to ye
The clarion call of "Come!"

And when they get to Brisbane to rally great they hold;
Oh see there in Market-square the heroes young and bold.
And when the last appeal is made, the loyal cheering done,
They get a "heartening" response of volunteers – one.

Why linger, men of Brisbane?
Was ever cause so true,
So just, so noble, so devote
As that which calls to you?
Awaken now, dull sluggards!
Have done with sport and fun!
Strike in your might for God and right
   Til victory is won!

                             Thomas G Rabbets (1915)