THE WONGGI'S LAMENT

 

By John Carins

 

 

Our tribe is scattered; our land defiled

By the white man's greed for gold

And the camp sites where Wonggi children played

Are silent, and bare, and cold.

 

Our mother land was harsh and stern

But 'twas ours from the dim dugoor1

Now the white man has claimed it for his own

'Tis the Wonggi's home no more.

 

For ages our tribe had roamed this land

And hunted its scanty game

But our happy days are ended now

Since the day when the white man came.

 

Our sons now ape the white man's ways,

Our daughters are things of shame

Ground into the dust by the combo's2 lust

Since ever the white man came.

 

The weapons we fashioned with skill and care

Fall from our feeble hands,

The weapons we may no longer use

Since the white man stole our lands.

 

We pray to our ancient tribal gods

And summon them each by name

But now at last they no longer respond

Since the day when the white man came.

 

The mission men pray to our Father in heaven

And teach us to bless his name

But we have little to thank him for

Since the day when the white man came.

 

We dwell on the skirts of white man's towns

In slum camps of evil fame,

And we oft times say in our Wonggi way

"Curse the day when the white man came".

 

1    Dugoor    The Dream Time

2    Combo    A white man who consorts with Aboriginal women

 

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