If This Be Treason

Ian Mudie


So this is treason, that a love of land
strengthen and circle in our hearts
through every hour of the day?
So this is treason, that our minds
should stir to none but native breeze,
that we should dream of unity
and our land's high purpose,
that we should see
a national future
triumphant in our song,
that we should be
willing servants
of Australia's dream?

If this be treason, then let every tree
fall to the axe, let all brave flowers
wither in traitorous disgrace.
If this be treason, then the very earth
offends against the state,
and every stick and stone
plots order's overthrow,
assassination breeds
in every waratah, the wattle's sabotage
broods on every golden hill.

If love of land a dastard treason be,
then black glows the sun and solid is the sea.

This poem refers to the internment of P.R. Stephensen and several other members of the nationalist Australia First Movement in Australian concentration camps (Liverpool, New South Wales; Loveday, South Australia; and Tatura, Victoria) in 1942. P.R.Stephensen (the leader of the AFM) was imprisoned from 10th March 1942 until 17th August 1945.

Fire of the Southern Cross: A Collection of Poetry for Australian Nationalists

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