Charley Lilley

Henry Lawson, 1892

      Oh! who will bear the battle's brunt
      And lead the ranks of Labour?
      Our leaders blunder in the front
      While Victory's a neighbour!
      We need a man to guide us thro' —
      The march is rough and hilly
      The army wants to know if you
      Are coming, Charlie Lilley?

      The hand of greed is on the soil
      And times are growing harder,
      And soon 'twill break the heart of Toil
      To fill the workman's larder.
      Across the sky we hear the cry
      Of Justice calling shrilly,
      And we might save her by and by
      If led by Charlie Lilley.

      We want the gentleman who'll face
      The social sham and evil
      And sacrifice a higher place
      To seek the people's level.
      The parasite ne'er led the van
      To Victory — nor will he:
      To lead us on we need a man
      Like brave old Charlie Lilley.

      So, Charlie Lilley, will you dare
      The lying papers' fury,
      With God alone to judge you fair,
      The people for a jury?
      Can heart like yours keep warm and true
      On heights where hearts are chilly?
      The people want to know if you
      Are coming, Charlie Lilley.

      The Bulletin