THE ALIENS
Edwin Greenslade (Dryblower) Murphy

In 2010, this poem would be considered highly racial and would probably not get printed, however, it was written in the early days of the twentieth century when attitudes were vastly different to today.  At that time, Australia was very much a "British" country and laws were being enacted to keep it so. 


They come not as an open foe
To loot the land with steel and fire,
No barricades to dust they blow,
No landmark make a lurid pyre.
They bear no bannerette of war;
No trumpet forth a challenge yells
From grim-built battleships to shore,
They rain no hell-invented shells,
But still they war and still they win;
They claim, and get, the victor's share.
Swarthy of heart as well as skin,
The Alien comes-
                                           Beware! Beware!

Along the street no shrapnel shrieks,
No rifle spits its venomed lead:
No hasty dug entrenchment reeks
With piles of disembowelled dead.
They bear no bayonet, lance or sword,
They blare no brass, they roll no drum;
When comes this irresistless horde
From out its Mediterranean slum.
From where the stench of Lisbon's dock
Pollutes the olive scented air,
From plague infested Antioch
The Alien comes-
                                       Beware! Beware!

Along the Adriatic shore
Where swarming beggars whine and weep
The tramp-ship shudders as they pour
Into her vitals dark and deep;
From old Cadiz to Thessaly.
From Montenegro down to Said,
They swarm across the Indian Sea
To swell the beetle-browed brigade,
To cheat the Briton of his crust:
To take what he and his should share:
To drag Australia to his dust.
The Alien comes-
                                  Beware! Beware!

From Cairo to the Yellow Sea.
The dusky pagan swells the flood,
The Ghan, the Kurd and Atchinee
Are blending with Australia's blood.
Across a land once virgin-good
A trail of greed and lust he leaves.
And o'er its virile nationhood
Degenerations spell he weaves,
To tempt the fickle and the frail
With many a tawdry, tinselled snare,
To buy where beauty is for sale
The Alien comes-
                               Beware! Beware!

In hovels never cleansed nor aired.
On which the Law indulgent looks.
He serves you dainty meals prepared
From filthy food by filthier cooks.
He laundries what so'er you need,
What he demands you promptly pay,
While women of a white man's breed
Barter their honour day by day.
He sells you fruits of Mother Earth
That ripened in his loathsome lair.
To blast the land that gave you birth,
The Alien comes-
                                  Beware! Beware!

*   *   *   *

They come not as an open foe
To loot the land with steel and fire,
No barricades to dust they blow,
No landmark make a lurid pyre.
They bear no bannerette of war;
No trumpet forth a challenge yells
From grim-built battleships to shore,
They rain no hell-invented shells,
But still they war and still they win;
They claim, and get, the victor's share.
Swarthy of heart as well as skin,
The Alien comes-
                                       Beware! Beware!



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