When we read in the daily papers of perilous times, afar.
Of dreadful scenes on the battlefield and carnage in time of war
And of birds of prey that are hov’ring around for their ghastly spoil.
And hold their feeds where human gore is the cloth of the corpse strewn soil;
Then we shudder, appalled, as we ponder o’er the so called glory of war,
Of victory won for the monarch at a cost too great by far;
For it makes widows and orphans, and robs us of our best.
And fatherless leaves our birdlings, and desolate makes our nest.
But enough of war and its horrors afar we need brave hearts here;
And, thank God, Australia has heroes, hearts of oak that know no fear;
Each one ready his life to offer – ’tis the solemn truth I speak
Aye, ready to succor the helpless, the suffering, aged, and weak.
Then thank God for Australia’s heroes.and bravest amongst them all
Are our own noble, brave fire-flighters God bless them one and all.
Watch them enter your burning building –there a child, there-hold your breath
Aye, watch as those brave men cooly risk the chance of a terrible death.
“Hold your breath’” I said. Nay’ look upward look up than the night-cloud higher.
And plead to Heaven for those heroes who are wrapped in shrouds of fire.
Look, mother, distrated mother (if you can in your anguish wild)’
Yon men at the risk of their own dear lives have saved for you your child!
Brave hearts. “What’s their recompense?” say you. Why none. I answer you, none. Save it be an approving conscience and a knowledge of brave deeds done
For you and for me. Ah! we know not when their aid we, too, shall need.
Then unitedly let us offer with grateful hearts their meed.
Let it be a substantial offering to our fire- men brave and true.
Who have done so much, still are willing much more for us yet to do.
Let us give what each would offer if our home were wrapped in fire.
And a loved one still were within it-a mother, a child, or sire
Would we not ungrudgingly tender to them who that life would save
Something worthy of such deeds heroic something worthy the good and brave?
Copyright © 1914. Mona Marie
Published: The Ballarat Courier, Victoria, Australia. Friday 19 June 1914, page 4.
FURTHER RESOURCES: for Article and photo of koala and fire-fighter.
Trapped… A Childhood Memory - by Catherine Crout-Habel
UPDATE: 10Jan2013 -on the Holmes Family of Tasmania http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2013/01/10/05/16/family-flees-fire-by-clinging-to-jetty