The Labour Agitator

A poem by Henry Lawson

Let the liar call me liar,
And the robber call me thief.
They can only fan the fire
That is born of my belief.
While I’m speaking, while I’m writing,
To reform the wrongful laws,
Well I know that I am fighting
For the grand old Cause.


See the army of the rebels
Marching on for evermore.
We are countless as the pebbles
That are strewn along the shore.
Agitating, agitating,
Till the Truth has sealed the fate
Of the wrongs that I am hating
With the grand old Hate.


Though no battle banner rustles
In a smoke that blurs the blue,
As when “heroes” poured from Brussels
To the field of Waterloo,
Though we do not hear the rattle
Of the rifles in the wars,
There is glory in the battle
For the grand old Cause.

See the army of the rebels
Marching on for evermore.
We are countless as the pebbles
That are strewn along the shore.
Agitating, agitating,
Till the Truth has sealed the fate
Of the wrongs that I am hating
With the grand old Hate.

No! I look not to the reaping
In the dynasty of men,
For I know that I’ll be sleeping
In a slandered grave e’er then.
Till his right to man is given
We’ll rebel, and we’ll rebel
As we would rebel in heaven
If it proved a hell.

See the army of the rebels
Marching on for evermore.
We are countless as the pebbles
That are strewn along the shore.
Agitating, agitating,
Till the Truth has sealed the fate
Of the wrongs that I am hating
With the grand old Hate.

No! There’s neither creed nor nation
Where the Labour flag’s unfurled,
For the Labour agitation
Breaks the barriers of the world.
Let the rulers fly in terror
With their scornful lips uncurled,
One by one the gods of error
From their thrones are hurled.

See the army of the rebels
Marching on for evermore.
We are countless as the pebbles
That are strewn along the shore.
Agitating, agitating,
Till the Truth has sealed the fate
Of the wrongs that I am hating
With the grand old Hate.

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