Unlock The Land
(an Australian Ballad)
first published in the 'Victorian Songster',
in 1855: Price one shilling.
Why in this sunny land of gold
Rich soil and wealth containing,
Should we from day to day behold
The unemployed complaining?
What is the cause that honest skill
Finds here no scope to ply it?
While ready hands the earth would till
Why lack they room to try it?
O, rulers wise! 'tis justice cries,
That all may share the soil;
Unlock the lands - there's willing hands
That want but room to toil.
The peasant, poor, came here to seek
A spot where hope might cheer him;
Where he might find each closing week,
His toil's reward more near him.
Where he should find, when work oppress'd,
and wintry age steals o'er him,
His life's last stage with plenty blessed,
A calm repose before him.
O, rulers wise! 'tis justice cries
That these may share the soil;
Unlock the lands - their willing hands
Should reap the fruits of toil.
Not squatters rich or mines of gold,
Can make Australia flourish;
But horny hands the plough that hold,
It's surest wealth can nourish:
For they would crown her sandy plains
With harvest's golden treasure;
But 'tis with those who rule remains
To grant the needful measure.
The rulers wise, regard the cries
Of thousands seeking toil;
Unlock the lands - and thriving hands
Shall dress a happy soil.