Poem: To the Memory of Claude Marquet by C.J. Dennis

Because to him the wise gods gave
   Rare gifts, to lesser folk denied,
He might have thriven, Mammon's slave,
Rich in the goods that small men crave,
   But poor in all beside.

And yet, because his was the pride
   Possessed by earnest men and brave,
He stayed by his weak brothers' side
And there he fought, loved, laughed and died,
   And went, loved, to his grave.

Because his was the simple heart
   That found small lure in pelf or praise,
For greater ends he plied his art,
And, asking little, played his part
   A rich man all his days.

The simple heart, the single aim
   That guided e'er his ready pen,
The gay indifference to Fame --
Things such as these shall leave a name
   Cherished 'mid fellow men.

And we who knew that steady gaze,
   The open hand, the ready laugh,
The fighting face and kindly ways,
Know, too, his smiling scorn of praise.
   Yet this for epitaph:

A fighter all his days was he,
Yet, dying, left no enemy.

First published in Cartoons by Claude Marquet Memorial Volume 1920
[Claude Marquet (1869-1920) was a well-known political cartoonist who expressed a radical philosophy and an idealistic view of the worker in his cartoons. His work appeared in such publications as The Bulletin, Melbourne Punch and Australian Worker.]

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