English poetry

Poems in English

Old Botany Bay

Old Botany Bay

“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!

Poem Old Botany Bay - Dame Mary Gilmore