The Men Who Went Away

Henry Lawson, 1904

      There's a murmur in the mulga, there's a whisper in the gums;
      There's a call across the sand-waste where an answer never comes;
      There's a restless sigh at sunset and a sob at break of day —
      'Tis Australia that is troubled for the sons who went away.

      For the sons and for the daughters whom she did not understand,
      For the brightest and the bravest and the truest in the land,
      For the bushmen and the writers who are lost to her for aye,
      For the painters and the poets whom her coldness drove away.

      There were sons of all Australia, there were bushmen born to lead,
      Tramping west to toil for tucker, facing east at bay with greed,
      Clearing roads for independence — and the Senate calls today
      For the strength of quiet voices of the men who went away.