Old Botany Bay by Dame Mary Gilmore

“I’m old

Botany Bay;

stiff in the joints,

little to say.
I am he

who paved the way,

that you might walk

at your ease to-day;
I was the conscript

sent to hell

to make in the desert

the living well;
I bore the heat,

I blazed the track-

furrowed and bloody

upon my back.
I split the rock;

I felled the tree:

The nation was-

Because of me!

Old Botany Bay

Taking the sun

from day to day…

shame on the mouth

that would deny

the knotted hands

that set us high!

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