THE TRUE MEMORIAL

Graceville War Memorial
Graceville War Memorial

 

What mean these monuments of bronze and stone

That in our midst like sentinels are set?

What mean these words I read with solemn tone?

Methinks a vow is made- “Lest we forget!”

 

But lately on a hundred fields we saw

Our sons to wondrous heights of valour rise;

They seemed stern hardship but the price of war,

And every bayonet-thrust a patriot’s prize.

 

And they their lives thus rendered to the State;

In noble tribute to their country’s worth;

But vain the tall memorial and ornate’

Till men in honour serve their land of birth.

 

One recompense alone to those who fell

Can we who hold the land in trust yet make,

And that – the dark disrupting force to quell,

And raise the nation’s standard for their sake.

 

                                                          E. Maurice Little (1923)

 

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THE VETERAN’S SONG

 

Left-right-left! left-right-left! list to the marching feet!

Military Parade, 29 May 1915, SLQ
Soldiers Marching SLQ 58515

Thum-thum-thum! thum-thum-thum! hark to the drum’s quick beat!

It calls me now as it calls before,

When the nation’s sons prepared for war,

And marched through the crowded street.

 

Left-right-left! left-right-left! didn’t we make  a show?

Thum-thum-thum! thum-thum-thum! didn’t they cheer us so?

We felt we were men with a task to do,

And we vowed one and all we’d see it through.

Or we’d lie where the flowers grow.

 

Rapid fire! never tire! see that you waste no shot!

All cease fire! they retire! Foes -yet a gallant lot!

Of that awful hour shall no craven tell,

‘Tis the tale of the man who has borne him well.

Where the battle flames were hot.

 

Left-right-left! left-right-left! list to the heavy feet!

Thum-thum! thum-thum! hark to the muffled beat!

For there’s a crape[1] on the drum when the fighting’s done,

And the man who lives reverses his gun,

To the “Last Post” clear and sweet.

 

                                                E. Maurice Little (1923)

 

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[1] That is, a cloth on the snare drum, to make the beat softer in a funeral procession.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOUTH BRISBANE AND THE AUTOMATIC TELEPHONE

 

The people on the southern side,

Are feeling most elated,

So where you will, you’re bound to hear

Their new Exchange debated;

It’s sure to be a handsome place,

The P.M.G.[2] declares it,

What is cost to governments,

The meek taxpayer bears it!

 

But what delights South Brisbane most,

And makes them most ecstatic,

Is that their telephones will soon

Be changed to automatic.

Ah, then they all will rue the day,

They yearned for modern fashion,

And on their varnished instruments

Will turn with horrid passion!

 

 

Just when they seek some city man,

To buy their chaff or timber,

The “Thing” will jib and round they’ll go,

From Oxley to Bulimba;

And every time it puts them through,

To “double six” or “four three”,

Although they sought the numbers not,

It registers the bawbee![3]

 

Oh! Sydney has no honeyed word,

For automatic ‘phoning,

Since ‘neath the burden of their bills,

The suburbs all are groaning;

There’s nothing like the good old style,

Whose fruits we long have tasted

And if, perchance you use strong words,

Your language is not wasted!

 

                                       E. Maurice Little, Daily Mail (Brisbane), Monday 30 July 1923, p8.  

 

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[2] The PMG, or Post Master General’s department was the government owned predecessor to Telstra.

[3] Bawbee was an old Scottish coin, about a penny and a half. He’s saying they charge the customer even if there is a mistake.

 

 TIS FRAGRANT STILL

 

Maurice Little, SLQ 887108

A scarlet rose that once was gay, 

And doubtless made some garden fair:

But faded now-its beauty gone;

Yet though it lay, as time pressed on,

Concealed amid her treasures there,

Its fragrance never passed away.

 

An early love at youth’s hey-day,

That promised richest joys and sweet;

Yet, though the hope of that rare hour

Declined and faded as a flower

That withers ‘neath the noon-day heat

Its fragrance never passed away.

 

                                                  E. Maurice Little (1923)

 

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