Seager, Alexandrine – June 1915
The soldiers’ answer
The soldiers’ answer has come to those
Wise critics who slandered them far and wide,
And dealt them relentless if wordy blows –
Who lifted their voice aloud and cried –
‘The Boys’ had disgraced Australia’s name
By their ‘shocking conduct’ in Cairo gay,
And that well we might bow our heads in shame
For the indire disgrace that would last for aye.
They knew that the ‘Boys’ had no redress –
And ah! how this knowledge made them bold –
To every loyal law transgress
and mythical scandals wide unfold.
But they smiled in scorn in the desert sand –
Our gallant boys – for full well they knew
An answer they’d send from another land
To silence for ever the lying few.
Who would dare besmirch with their craven breath
The honour of those who are giving all,
Who nobly for us face a soldier’s death
As there in the Dardanelles they fall.
They’ve covered Australia with glory grand;
Their dauntless daring has set ablaze
A spirit that slept in this sunny land
And stirred it to work in a thousand ways.
Past is the fury of battle’s storm;
And now the horror of crowded ships,
Wounds almost too terrible to be borne –
Yet never a murmur escapes their lips.
Ah! dying brave, are we worthy – say?
Of the heroes who just a short year ago
Were our own dear boys who as men today
Are dealing the Empire Australia’s blow.
Dear gallant Boys, as you suffering lie,
And under a smile burning tortures hide.
‘The soldier’s answer’ give ‘ere you die
And having answered – die satisfied.