English poetry

Poems in English

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!


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Poem Old Botany Bay - Dame Mary Gilmore