The Sacrifice of Ball's Head

Henry Lawson, 1916

      They're taking it, the shipping push,
      As all the rest must go —
      The only spot of cliff and bush
      That harbour people know.
      The spirit of the past is dead
      North Sydney has no soul —
      The State is cutting down Ball's Head.
      To make a wharf for coal.

      Where picnic parties used to go
      To spend a glorious day,
      With all the scenery of a coast
      And not a cent to pay.
      The deep cool tangle shall be cleared
      To make the glaring roads
      And motor lorries jolt and grind
      And drag their sordid loads.

      And strings of grimy trucks shall run
      In everlasting trains
      And on the cliffs where wild trees are
      Shall stand the soulless cranes,
      To dump their grimy loads below,
      Where great brown rocks are grand;
      And the deep grass and wild flowers grow —
      And boating couples land.

      No more shall poorer families
      Give "Grandma" and "Grandad"
      A glimpse of nature's mysteries
      To make their old hearts glad.
      No more our eyes shall be relieved
      In the city's garish day —
      A sordid crime has been achieved!
      And none has aught to say.