Poem: To Henry Lawson -- Farewell by Roderick Quinn

As to an artist who revealed our land,
Making this sordid life therein aglow,
But nowise hiding truth, we hold a hand,
A hand heart-warmed to clasp yours ere you go.

So many years did you did your work of love
That one goes nowhere but he hears your name;
Where camp-fires burn and smoke-plumes drift above
They tell your stories and they spread your fame.

You leave behind more friends than one can state,
Your words have made them live, you gave them life;
The lovers standing at the sliprail gate,
Mitchell and Smith, the lone selector's wife,

The two old miners in the twilight haze
Of years, 'twixt smoke-puffs, telling o'er and o'er
Quaint stories of the vanished digger days
That passed away -- alas! to come no more.

And many others, grave, or grim, or kind,
Who stumble on with burdened heart and back;
Some fiercely cursing fate, and some resigned
To trudge for ever on the Outside Track.

These make a link between you and our land:
So, Lawson, though you go wide seas away,
We'll meet your face in them, and hold your hand,
And hear your voice in what your visions say.

All luck to you! but, if by chance you meet
With less than your deserts or our desire,
Come back again -- your old accustomed seat
Will wait you always by the good heart-fire.

First published in The Bulletin, 21 April 1900
[This poem was written around the time Lawson left for England to try his luck in the
literary scene there. It didn't work out.]

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 27, 2006 9:15 AM.

Theft All Over was the previous entry in this blog.

Australian Books to Film #8 - They're a Weird Mob is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en