Fling Out the Flag

(For the Australian Labour Federation)


Francis Adams

1910



Fling out the Flag! Let her flap and rise in the rush of the eager air,
With the ring of the wild swan's wings as she soars from the swamp and her reedy lair.
fling out the Flag! And let friend and foe behold, for gain or loss,
The sign of our faith and the fight we fight, the Stars of the Southern Cross!
Oh! Blue's for the sky that is fair for all, whoever, wherever he be,
And Silver's the light that shines on all for hope and for liberty,
And that's the desire that burns in our hearts, for ever quenchless and bright,
And that's the sign of our flawless faith and the glorious fight we fight!

What is the wealthiest land on earth, if the millions suffer and cry,
And all but the happy selfish Few would fain curse God and die?
What are the glorious Arts, as they sit and sing on their jewelled thrones,
If their hands are wet with blood and their feet befouled with festering bones?
What are the splendid Sciences, driving Nature with a bit of steel,
If only the Rich can mount the car and the Poor are dragged at the wheel?
Wealth is a curse, and Art a mock, and Science worse than a lie,
When they're but the gift of the greedy Thieves, the leeches that suck men dry!

Nay, brothers, nay! it is not for this -- for a land of wealth and woe --
That we hoped and trusted all these years, that we toiled and struggled so!
It is not for a race of taskmasters and pitiful cringing slaves,
That our strength and skill raised up happy homes and dreamed of fearless graves.
It is not for a Cause that is less than for all, that is not for Truth but a lie,
That we raise our faces and grip our hands, and lift our voices high,
As we fling out the Flag that friend and foe may see, for gain or loss,
The sign of our faith and the fight we fight, the Stars of the Southern Cross!

As the sky above is fair for all, whoever, wherever he be,
As the blessed stars on all shed their light of hope and of liberty:
So let the earth, this fertile earth, this well-loved Southern land,
Be fair to all, be free to all, from strand to shining strand!
Let boy and girl and woman and man in it at least be sure,
That all can earn their daily bread with hearts as proud as pure;
Let man and woman and girl and boy in it for ever be
Heirs to the best this world can give, happy, fearless, free!

Fling out the Flag! Let her flap and rise in the rush of the eager air,
With the ring of the wild swan's wings as she soars from the swamp and her reedy lair.
fling out the Flag! And let friend and foe behold, for gain or loss,
The sign of our faith and the fight we fight, the Stars of the Southern Cross!
Oh! Blue's for the sky that is fair for all, whoever, wherever he be,
And Silver's the light that shines on all for hope and for liberty,
And that's the desire that burns in our hearts, forever quench-less and bright,
And that's the sign of our flawless faith and the glorious fight!



Published in Songs of the Army of the Night, London, A.C. Fifield, 1910


Echoes of Eureka:
Poems of the Australian Republic, The Eureka Rebellion of 1854, and Eureka's Flag of Stars

Australian Nationalism Information Database - www.ausnatinfo.angelfire.com/~natinfo