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To A Politician

Edward George Dyson 1865 (Ballarat, Victoria) – 1931 (Saint Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria)



There was a moment when of you
A splendid hope I had to tell,
Believing 'Here is one man who
Will serve our waiting country well.'

I saw you sedulous and keen,
I heard the burning words you spoke.
It seemed that you were hard and clean,
And rapier sharp your every stroke.

Then came success, and in a night
An impish thing you stood apart,
All empty-handed for the fight,
With worse, alas! an empty heart.

Success had spoiled you, said your friends,
It was not so, for naught was there
To spoil but means to petty ends.
At last men saw you bleak and bare.

In those who give you grudging aid
These days, may we the spirits see
Who for the love of men would raid
The strongholds of iniquity?

Are these the heroes high and true,
Who, seeing right with honest eyes,
Will risk their all in putting through
Democracy's stern Enterprise?

You had no wealth of love. You failed
For that. Your heart may never cling
To men upon their crosses nailed,
To brothers sadly travailing.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Edward George Dyson

Edward George Dyson, or 'Ted' Dyson, was an Australian journalist, poet, playwright and short story writer. He was the elder brother of illustrators Will Dyson (1880–1938) and Ambrose Dyson (1876–1913), with three sisters also of artistic and literary praise. Dyson wrote under several – some say many – nom-de-plumes, including Silas Snell. In his day, the period of Australia's federation, the poet and writer was 'ranked very closely to Australia's greatest short-story writer, Henry Lawson'. With Lawson known as the 'swagman poet', Ogilvie the 'horseman poet', Dyson was the 'mining poet'. Although known as a freelance writer, he was also considered part of The Bulletin writer group. more…

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