The English sent them all to Australia’s shore
British justice held them all in chains.
Families left behind, would never see them more.
They were sentenced, to live a life of slavery and pain.
Under the lash they built this great new land.
Under the burning sun they slaved without a hope
Few threw off their chains and made a stand,
They lived in fear, of the lash, and the Hangman’s Rope.
For seven long years they wept and toiled.
Disease and starvation earned their Ticket of Leave.
Many stayed, took land and tilled the soil.
For those they left behind they had no time for grief.
Over the years they conquered this arid land,
Struggled through drought and flooding rain
Raging Bushfires that seemed from Satan’s hand
And through it all they suffered loss and pain.
I look around me and see what they have left.
I have seen the bush and arid desert sands.
For a while from town to town I did drift.
A Knight of the road I wandered this great land.
I often think of those who came before.
No-one should forget their sacrifice and pain.
How in chains they forged this distant shore.
Through their labour they erased the convict stain.
Robin A Spicer © February 4, 2007