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Hawker, The Standard Bearer

The grey gull sat on a floating whale,

On a floating whale sat he,

And he told his tale of the storm and the gale,

And the ships that he saw with steam and sail,

As he flew by the Northern Sea.

"I have seen a sign that is strange and new,

That I never before did see:

A flying ship that roared as it flew,

The storm and the tempest driving through,

It carried a flag and it carried a crew,

Now what would that be?" said he.

"And the flag was a Jack with stars displayed,

A flag that is new to me;

For it does not ply in the Northern trade,

But it drove through the storm-wrack unafraid,

Now, what is that flag?" said he.

"I have seen that flag that is starred with white,"

Said a southern gull, said he,

"And saw it fly in a bloody fight,

When the raider Emden turned in flight,

And crashed on the Cocos lee."

"And who are these folk whose flag is first

Of all the flags that fly

To dare the storm and the fog accurst,

Of the great North Sea where the bergs are nursed,

And the Northern Lights ride high?"

"The Australian folk," said a lone sea-mew,

"The Australian flag," said he.

"It is strange that a folk that is far and few

Should fly their flag where there never flew

Another flag!" said he.

"I have followed their flag in the fields of France,

With its white stars flying free,

And no misfortune and no mischance

Could turn them back from their line of advance,

Or the line that they held," said he.

"Whenever there's ever rule to break,

Wherever they oughtn't to be,

With a death to dare and a risk to take,

A track to find or a way to make,

You will find them there," said he.

"They come from a land that is parched with thirst,

An inland land," said he,

"On risk and danger their breed is nursed,

And thus it happens their flag is first

To fly in the Northern Sea."

"Though Hawker perished, he overcame

The risks of the storm and the sea,

And his name shall be written in stars of flame,

On the topmost walls of the Temple of Fame,

For the rest of the world to see."

 Andrew (Banjo) Barton Paterson



(After Kipling, behind scratch.)

'E's a boster ! 'Arry 'Awker,

'E's a doer, not a talker,

Wot we calls a real corker,

Tho' not rash ;

'E cares nothing for a blizzard,

Though it cut him to the gizzard ;

In the air he "is " a "wizard "

Less the smash.

An' 'e don't use any frillin'

Just to set the people thrillin'

When they pay their bloomin' shillin'

At the show ;

But 'e takes things wery easy

While 'e sees the engine's greasy,

An' 'e shouts, 'owever breezy,

" Let 'er go ! "

An' away 'e goes a-soarin',

While the ladies all adorin*

With us common blokes a-roarin'

In our joy ;

An' our praise 'e needn't flout it,

So let everybody shout it,

For there is no doubt about it

'E's the boy !

An' we 'ear that Mr. Millen

Found that flyin' way so killin'

That no doubt 'e'll now be willin'

Straight away

To give 'im an invitation

To be boss of aviation

For our young Australian nation,

With good pay.

With 'is plane to fly about in

'E'll be just the boy for scoutin'

If the foeman pokes 'is snout in

Doin' wrong.

'E will never prove a balker.

'Ere's good 'ealth to 'Any 'Awker;

May 'e keep like Johnny Walker

Goin' strong !

But be wery careful, 'Arry,

While with us you mean to tarry,

Or I'll bet you're bound to marry

Wery soon ;

For you'll find yourself a-sighin',

An' the ring 'you will be buyin',

If you take the ladies flyin',

Near the moon !  


Ballarat, 3rd April, 1914

Love A La Hawker


The night was dark-'twas raining-

Around the lightings played,

When Harry came volplaning,

His love to serenade,

The other on the breeze

As he with expert steering

Alighted on the trees.

They formed a the leafy casket

Where his rare jewel hid,

So, slipping from his basket,

Down one stout trunk he slid,

He went with with steps that oftly,

Had trod the self-same way,

And ‘neath her casement softly

He poured forth true love’s lay.

“Awake, my Arabella,

Though torrents round us pour,

The hour has come to soar.

Close by my trusty bi-plane

Heeds not the frowning sky-

Through storm, or wet, or dry-plane

Come dearest, let us fly

“Let’s haste us to my car there,

And start our nuptial flight.

Weep not to leave thy father-

I’ll soon set him all right.

Not long shalt though be sireless-

I’ll tell you what we’ll do-

We’ll drop your dad a wireless

To say we’ve cut and flew’

“No one shall come between us,

For ere an hour be done

We’ll stay a while at Venus,

Whose priest shall make us one.

“Then in a jiff – or sooner –

O, married lovers’ boon!

We’ll call on Madam Luna,

And spend our honey moon.

“Haste, haste, the moon the sky’s in

Come, dearest, play the game-

The mercury is rising,

And we must do the same.

Propitious are the breezes-

The moon shows in the sky-

And lo! The rainstorm ceases

As now we mount on high.

“Up in the ether mighty

On love’s light wings we’re borne.

Let groundlings deem us flighty-

We’ll treat such gibes with scorn.

Hold fast to faith –and stanchion-

Whilst I my darling bear

Of to my Spanish mansion-

Love’s Castle in the Air!”

Punch (12th February 1914)

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