Union Songs

The Union Man

A poem by Mary Gilmore©Mary Gilmore

One voice to speak,
One step to take,
A thousand men as one--
As like a wall,
Lest one should fall,
They stand till all is won.

These are the men
Who, foot by foot,
Beat down the might of wrong,
And now hold fast
In case the past
Should rise again, still strong.

No evil dies,
It only lies
In silent seeming sleep
Waiting the hour
Once more in power,
Over the world to sweep.

A thousand men,
No two alike
And yet they stand as one!
While so they stand
No alien hand,
Can bring them down undone..


This poem was published in Tom Nelson's history of the Waterside Workers' Federation, A Century of a Union in 1972 with the following comment:

"We make no claim to have measured up to the high ideals of Dame Mary Gilmore's fine poem.

No Union has.

We may have gone closest".

Tom Nelson was President and Secretary of the Sydney Branch of the WWF till his retirement in 1973. He also wrote an ealier history, The Hungry Mile, in 1957.

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