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

The Criminal War

I am shocked beyond words!
(Said the statesman. 'Tis crime
That the clamoring herds
Should seek war at this time.
For a criminal war is sheer folly
Subversive to ideals sublime.

There are wars that are nice;
There are wars that are not.
And 'tis seeking with vice
That the nations should plot
World war when my land is unready.
I refuse to consider such rot.

My philosophy's clear;
My morality, too;
Tho' my rivals may sneer
At the things that I do.
If at present, for me, war's illegal It must be illegal for you!

We are human, I trust;
And to decency wed.
Let's have war, if we must;
But at present I dread
What crimes may come out of the carnage,
If blood be illegally shed.

In the past, all along
We have cleaved to our creed:
We shall fight when we're strong
When we're not we still plead
Our revulsion to acts homicidal
Induced by man's envy and greed.

Keep the sword in its sheath;
Seek sweet peace for a time,
Till, all armed to the teeth,
Our meek voices may climb
To sue for the blessings of Heaven
On butchery, purged of all crime.

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