(7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)


We roam about the countryside
And view the farmlands rolling wide
A picture surely this of peace, of planty.
We mark within these sylvan scenes
The whirr and clatter of machines
That help one man to do the work of twenty.

We mark the orchards fruited deep,
The flocks of well-contented sheep,
The drowsing kine all corpulent and sated.
We gaze with gladness undisguised,
And thank our stars we're civilised;
Yet long for life a shade less complicated.

For birds, now vocal in the trees,
And beasts, with grass about their knees,
Accept in simple wise the gifts abounding,
But, of all creatures, man alone,
The brainiest being ever known,
Must scratch his head and fall to self-confounding.

Alas, that man's own cleverness
Should land him in this pretty mess
Where man blames man and nation charges nation.
Tho' wise blokes con it o'er and o'er
The sum of all their labored lore
Seems but to complicate the complication.

To pluck an apple form a tree
And feed upon it seems to be
A simple act where none could be mistaken.
Alas, our world has grown so big
That, tho' one man may raise a pig,
It needs a score to sell the breakfast bacon.

From earth alone man wins his bread;
By earth alone are all things fed;
A fact we'll recognise when we grow calmer.
Justice for all may then prevail,
For farmers first, then down the scale
To the man who farms the man who farms the farmer.

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