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The Dons of Spain


Henry Lawson

1898



The Eagle screams at the beck of trade, so Spain, as the world goes round,
Must wrestle the right to live or die from the sons of the land she found;
For, as in the days when the buccaneer was abroad on the Spanish Main,
The national honour is one thing dear to the hearts of the Dons of Spain.

She has slaughtered thousands with fire and sword, as the Christian world might know;
We murder millions, but, thank the Lord! we only starve 'em slow.
The times have changed since the days of old, but the same old facts remain
We fight for Freedom, and God, and Gold, and the Spaniards fight for Spain.

We fought with the strength of the moral right, and they, as their ships went down,
They only fought with the grit to fight and their armour to help 'em drown.
It mattered little what chance or hope, for ever their path was plain,
The Church was the Church, and the Pope the Pope but the Spaniards fought for Spain.

If Providence struck for the honest thief at times in the battle's din
If ever it struck at the hypocrite well, that's where the Turks came in;
But this remains ere we leave the wise to argue it through in vain
There's something great in the wrong that dies as the Spaniards die for Spain.

The foes of Spain may be kin to us who are English heart and soul,
And proud of our national righteousness and proud of the lands we stole;
But we yet might pause while those brave men die and the death-drink pledge again
For the sake of the past, if you're doomed, say I, may your death be a grand one, Spain!

Then here's to the bravest of Freedom's foes who ever with death have stood
For the sake of the courage to die on steel as their fathers died on wood;
And here's a cheer for the flag unfurled in a hopeless cause again,
For the sake of the days when the Christian world was saved by the Dons of Spain.




The Poetry of Henry Lawson
Alphabetical list of poetry - - Chronological list of poetry

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