De philosophia australes

(A moral philosopher's song)

Way down under
in the lucky land
tilled and stilled
by slavery’s hand
So far away
almost forgotten
exiled Dixie
took its stand.
With stolen soil,
golden wealth
from others’ toil,
A prison walled by sea
Upon the southern crucifix
hang those
who would be free.
With hearts and minds
some academic finds
this commonwealth
to share
on every page,
pretended rage,
from down under rings
advance the right
preferably white
for all those rich and rare
from Dixie’s pains
come joyful strains
advance down under fair.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..