English poetry

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They grouped together about the chief
And each one looked at his mate,
Ashamed to think that Australian men
Should meet such bitter fate!
And black was the wrath in each hot heart
And savage oaths they swore
As they thought of how they had all been ditched
By “Impregnable” Singapore.

In her vaunted place she squatted the sea
On a base that was Maginot bred
Her startled face looked up at the skies
To the enemy planes o’erhead.
Enemy planes; while ours were – where?
That cry we had heard before
Our hearts were wrung as it rose this time
From beleaguered Singapore.

She brought forth death as her eldest child
With defeat as her second son.
Then she hung a white flag out on a staff
To show that her task was done.
And sick with rage the Australians stood,
And God! how those Anzacs swore –
Bennett and all his men alike –
At the fall of Singapore.

Whose was the fault she betrayed our troops?
Whose was the fault she failed!?
Ask it of those who lowered the flag
At once to the mast was nailed,
Tell them we’ll raise it on Anzac soil
With hearts that are steeled to the core
We swear by our dead and captive sons

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Poem Singapore - Dame Mary Gilmore