australia, Australian Aboriginals, Australian poet, Australian traditional poetry, Botany Bay, Captain James Cook, Discovery of Australia, Formal poetry, poem, poetry, The British Empire
Botany Bay 1770
Well it was bound to happen – with your undefended borders.
If it hadn’t been the British, following their monarch’s orders,
Then it would have been the Frenchies or the Dutch or Portuguese,
Or the Maoris, or the maniacal murderous Japanese.
When you haven’t any fences and no army – no defences,
Then it’s clear to any sane man that there will be consequences.
When you’re hunters and you’re gatherers in small nomadic bands,
Standing on the bay’s grey beaches with but spears in your hands,
Don’t expect that stronger peoples with their empires all expanding
Will just say: “Hello”, and sail away without making a landing,
Planting flags, and claiming sovereignty to land on which you’re standing.
It’s the way it was back then, and there’s no sense in you demanding
That we change the past – you lost, but look upon the brighter side man –
Had it been the Asian hordes instead, they would have tanned your hide man.