Union Songs


A poem by Ernest Antony©Ernest Antony 1930

A long-horned, goat with whiskers grey
Once met a slave upon the way.
Said smellful William to the other,
"Good morning, ho good morning brother;
How is it with you this fine day,
How fare you in this world I pray?"
The slave looked sad and answered low,
"No good, I'm unemployed you know."
"And is that ill?" then asked the goat,
"I never toil. I'd have you note,"
"That is quite true," the slave replied,
"But if I don't, I'd starve," he sighed.
"What! Starve where there is much to eat,
Because you're turned upon the street?"
"Why, slave, you're in the infant class;
I never ask who owns the grass,"
So sagely spoke the quadruped.
"It never enters my thick head
That means to live would be denied."
"But you're a goat," the slave replied.


This poem was published in Ernest Antony's collection The Hungry Mile And Other Poems published in Sydney in 1930. Much Australian song and poetry after the First World War adopted the IWW hard hitting irony so evident in the wobbly songs. Little is know about Antony, but his poems were often printed in militant union journals.

see also

Ernest Antony and the Hungry Mile Launch of Second Edition 2008

The Hungry Mile And 'Maritime Invisibility' by Rowan Cahill and

Ernest Antony: Forgotten Poet by Rowan Cahill

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