John Brack Australia 1920–1999. Collins St, 5p.m. 1955 oil on canvas 114.6 x 162.9 cm. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased, 1956 (Photo source)
An Unhappy Race
White fellow, you are the unhappy race.
You alone have left nature and made civilised laws.
You have enslaved yourselves as you enslaved the horse and
other wild things.
Why, white man?
Your police lock up your tribe in houses with bars,
We see poor women scrubbing floors of richer women.
Why, white man, why?
You laugh at ‘poor blackfellow’, you say we must be like you.
You say we must leave the old freedom and leisure,
We must be civilised and work for you.
Why, white fellow?
Leave us alone, we don’t want your collars and ties,
We don’t need your routines and compulsions.
We want the old freedom and joy that all things have but you,
Poor white man of the unhappy race.