Did they know?

When the First Fleet landed

on that fatal damned shore,

did the Gadigal people know what

they were coming here for?


Did they see the painted

blood red flag hanging bold

and fluttering sovereign

in the soft summer breeze?


Did they smell

the scent of death eternal

moving slowly across the whole

damned wide expanse,

across all the richness

of this varied and glorious land?


Did they know what

would happen

and what history

would unfold for

the nations of this

sacred and unique

southern place?


Did they know,

did they know,

does it echo

from their graves?


Did they know,

did they know,

about the gun

and disease?


For who could tell

them in their noble

frozen innocence

that the pale faced people

who raised the flag

were the harbingers of death?