Recently in Friendship Category

The Lane by Mabel Forrest

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Our friendship is a green and shady lane
Closed at the further end by one high wall,
Across which we can see, full bloomed and tall,
Like glowing fires through a misty pane,
The scarlet summer-spinning of the trees.

Our friendship is a straight and grass-edged way
That we can pace with calm, unfearing eye;
Yet something cried across its peace to-day,
Reminding  that beyond the wall they lie,
The goblets of the flowers, the brown-winged bees.

And all was still by plain and well-known wold;
The smooth blades kept the greyness of the dew,
The words that custom taught us seemed so cold,
My wet eyes fell before a look from you;
Stricken, we stood and gazed at those far trees.

If we could be as once we used to be,
The green and gentle twilight of the lane
Would all suffice; the clipt unflowering tree
Would bring content to eyes that now in vain
Ache for a glimpse of honey cups and bees.

First published in The Bulletin, 3 April 1913

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

A Friend in Need by Louisa Lawson

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Friends will quickly leave you,
Slight you and decieve you,
Or will not believe you
      If you have a wrong.

Those who hurt will hate you,
Enemies will slate you,
And as crank distrate you
      If you have a wrong.

But if you are righted
Those who coolly slighted
Will be so delighted.
      Said so all along!

But you then can show them,
That you would forego them,
As too well you know them
      Since you've had a wrong.

But yuo friends, God bless them!
Take their hands and press them,
You'll not have to guess them
      If you've had a wrong.

First published in The Dawn, 1 March 1904;
and later in
The Lonely Crossing and Other Poems by Louisa Lawson, 1905;
The Bulletin, 21 December 1905; and
Louisa Lawson: Collected Poems with Selected Critical Commentaries, edited by L.M. Rutherford, M.E. Roughley and Nigel Spence, 1996.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

Midnight Sonnets: An Old Friend by Henry Halloran

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He did much out of nothing, -- save a will  
   Resolute to do, or strive to do, some good
   For that great hobby-horse, the multitude.
He labored stoutly, both with tongue and quill;
A very Sysiphus, up the steep hill
   Of hard beginnings he the load withstood,
   That would have crushed a man of feebler mood,
And reached at length the summit of the hill,
      Do heads grow ever dizzy on a steep?
   Do those beneath strive ever to pull down     
Does folly dig a pit for conscious pride?
A grateful heart would some shortcomings hide, --
   Remember, how, he long had served the town, --
      Nor on grey hairs unmanly insults heap !    


We'll say the steed was really good in pace, --
   Rattled our buggy into town each day;
   Never was wearied in the common way,
Nor ever feared a tram-car horror to face;
Kept his feet safely, with a lofty grace,
   On wooden pavements, and on miry clay;
   Never, when corn-fed, was too hot or gay,
And of the pack of cards was really ace.     
Some scoffers swore he was a very Jack;  
   His master, out of temper, dragged a bit
At the old fellow's mouth, and pulled him back.  
   He tripped upon a stone, grazed knees, got hit;
"A vicious brute!" exclaimed the ignorant pack, --
   To see the cause they had too little wit.


"The press condemn him!" Well, I know the press,
   And wrought for it before some men were born,
   Who now would raise on high a stubborn horn,
And smite their brother in his sore distress.
These be not its true guides, for littleness
   Is not of its true functions, nor hot scorn;
   It's light is like the sun's at early morn,
Scattering the mists, and seeking power to bless;
      The great precursor of the coming time,
   The champion, cap-a-pie, of deathless truth,
   The Caesar, in its might and in its ruth,
      That smites injustice even as a crime.    
   That to the weak is gentle in its might,
   A beacon to the world, Pharos of coming light.   


Never again on public favor lean,
   But on eternal right fix well thy glance.   
   And vow to inward self, "I will advance   
And show what in the future must be seen;     
We cannot rest in 'what is' or 'has been;
   Life is eternal progress, hanging back
   Is craven-hearted ; let no sail be slack,   
But fill until it rip towards skies serene;"
Pray God to aid thee upon bended knee;
Think how to bless thy fellow men, e'en yet.
   Grapple great truth unto thy conscious heart;
   Do right to all men, whatsoe'r their part;       
Then shalt thou triumph like the sun, nor set
'Till in "I am," thou prov'st what thou hast been.

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 27 February 1886

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

The Bard and the Disbarred by Henry Lawson

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There's a little old pub that I go to,
   And one or two others as well;
And thirsty souls tram, walk and row to
   That little amphibious hotel.
It stands somewhere down where the whalers
   Held more than high revel of yore,
(And the jetty is handy to sailors
   On days when their skippers ashore.)

There's a sort of outcast physician,
   Because he had stuck to a mate.
There's a sort of thrown-out politician,
   Because he had tried to go straight.
And old actor --and he's our reciter --
   As long as his audience endure --
A pianist, and artist and writer
   (Art, music and lit-er-a-ture.)

There's a boxer that we call "the Feather" --
   He never showed white in his time --
He lost on a foul, and, well, whether --
   (I'm stuck up here for a rhyme.)
He lost on a foul, and, well this is
   A thing that might hurt 'em and vex;
The fool, I know, came from his missis,
   To the honour of all of her sex.

To the honour of all of her gender --
   (Oh, love in the spring-time is sweet);
There's a hard-working waster and spender,
   And so we are nearly complete.
But the other one lives for his life's sake,
   And his honour -- and he finds it hard;
He was struck off the rolls for his wife's sake,
   And he's known to us all as "Disbarred".

There are only two more I might mention,
   Though I don't know why they come here;
There's a water policeman, on pension,
   And a wrecker (whose mostly on beer).
And they can't understand how it rankles
   In the hearts of the young od "the force"
The floating ashore of brass ankles
   And davit, blown out of their course.

(Ain't it marvellous, weary world-ranger?
   So true that it sounds like a hymn --
Ain't it marvellous, shipmates in danger?
   Did you know that red herrings can swim?)

The Disbarred gives advice in all evil,
   Free gratis to husbands of sin.
(And in things merely local and civil --
   Oh, that's where "the Feather" comes in.)
She made your embezzlement easy,
   She made your embezzlement hard,
Your "victim" was rich, fat and greasy,
   And so she divorced you Disbarred!

I am one of the few friends that knew you,
   And how you fought upwards -- how hard;
A young married daughter stuck to you --
   But she died in childbirth Disbarred!
("In the wild wood a fountain is springing
   In the desert there still is a tree --
And a bird in the wilderness singing
   That speaks of thy spirit to me.")

Last New Year (my recollection),
   Or, maybe 'twas three years ago,
There was someone took up a collection
   In the little old pub that we know.
Said the Feaher, "I ain't got the science
   Of sparrin' with clack be ther yard --
Here's a coupler quid from yer clients
   Ter see yer past New Year, Disbarred."

And you went, like a lost soul that's banished
   And you slunk like a coward, outside.
And you went as you lately have vanished,
   To where fallen angels have pride.
But a bloke without principle saw yer
   By the little place down in the yard,
There were tears in the eyes of a lawyer,
   Though he'd been a long time disbarred.

First published in Truth, 23 February 1924;
and later in
A Fantasy of Man: Henry Lawson Complete Works 1901-1922 edited by Leonard Cronin.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library, The Poetry of Henry Lawson website

See also.

Fellowship by Emily Bulcock

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Drink from my cup of life, O burdened brother,
   Tho' sorrow's dregs be mine, yet at the rim
There's sweet enough for sharing with another.
   While thine holds only bitter to the brim,
And while I yield the sparkling sweets to thee,
Less bitter are the last dark dregs for me.

Drink from my full, rich cup, thirsty wayfarer,
   Whose cup is empty both of joy and grief.
Come, share my feast, and life, the brave cupbearer,
   Will bring a draught to give thy thirst relief.
But know, while sharing that mixed cup with me,
Some bitter in its fellowship must be.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 October 1930

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

An Ex-Digger's Growl by Edward Dyson

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This life is gay enough at times,
   But still it has its heavy spells,
The weary curse of slinging rhymes
   When wages, not the will, impels -
The "horrid grind" at "pointed pars.,"
   The articles with headache crammed,
The column sketch, hot off the bars,
   That "must be funny" or be damned.

My flaccid muscles seem to tweak
   To feel the windlass pull and strain,
To shake the cradle by the creek,
  And puddle at the "tom" again.
Ah! pen for pick is no poor swap
   When o'er the slides the waters flow,
A pile of half-ounce stuff on top,
   And fifty feet on wash below.

'Twas lightly left, 'tis lately mourned,
   That life in Tanner's eight-by-ten,
When coats with yellow clay adorned
   Were good enough for gentlemen,
And Sunday's best was Monday's wear,
   When Bennet gave us verse and book -
Poor Phil! a crude philospher,
   But, bless his heart, a clever cook.

A high old time we had, we three -
   Our darkest clouds with sunshine laced -
The pipeclay soft and dray at knee,
   A foot of washdirt, easy "faced,"
And one to say us aye or nay
   Did we resolved to slave or smoke -
The pan was ready with the pay
   E'en though the toil was half a joke.

'Twas good, when "spell-oh" had been said,
   To watch the white smoke curl and cling
Against the gravel roof o'erhead,
   The candles dimly flickering
And circled with a pallid glow -
   To sprawl upon the broken reef,
And pensively to pull and blow
   The fragrant incense from the leaf.

And where the torpid Wondee's tide,
   Untainted by the Stafford's sloughs,
Pellucid in its pristine pride,
  Stole sleeplessly beneath the boughs,
It was delightful toil to lay
  The dish within the flood, I ween,
And puddle off the pug and clay,
  And pan the golden prospect clean.

In hours of indolence and dream
   I swirl the old tin dish again,
And Wondee's lambent waters seem
   To lave my brow and lap my brain:
And, from the ravished hillside, come
   Faint clamours on the fitful breeze
And mingle with the crooning hum
   Of insects in the drowsy trees.

The barrels rattle on their stand,
   And in the shafts the nail-kegs swing
The short, sharp strokes of practised hands
   Are making picks and anvil ring.
The slothful echoes dally so,
   They blend with splitter's measured chop,
The cheery cry, "Look up, below!"
   The muffled call of "Heave on top!"

No piles were made on Pinafore,
   Here Nature's hoards were hard to find,
And though we skimmed the golden store,
   We left the richest stuff behind -
Contentment, freedom, careless ease,
   And friendship which - a long-felt want -
We never meet in towns like these,
   'Twas not the kind that cities haunt.

The day is done, regrets are vain,
   I cannot eat my cake once more,
The crumbs of comfort that remain
   I won't despise for feastings o'er;
The life I loved best, boy and man,
   Was digging-days by flood and field,
The galdsome graft with pick and pan,
   The pay a problem till the yield.

First published in The Bulletin, 5 October 1889

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

To the Indifferent by Mary Corringham

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Not by still lake, not by the harried shore,
   Neither in steady moon nor wavering sun
Does there sleep one unwritten metaphor
   That never song has ended or begun.

What shall I liken you unto, O friend?
   What simile is left, what figure of speech?
What strange, sweet beauty with your soul shall blend
   That lieth not too far beyond my reach?

I think you are most like a looking-glass
   Wherein for some brief time ourselves are seen;
You have held, yet hold not still, the things that pass . . .
   After me, you will be as unmoved and serene
As if even I had never come between
   You and the sun's dark shadow on the grass.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 September 1934

Author: nothing is known about the author of this poem

Author reference site:

See also.

Mates by Mary Hannay Foott

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We have heavy tidings, old dog, to-day;
   There is sorrow come to us over the sea.

You know there was some one who loved me, Dick? ---
  Some one who loved you because of me? ---
Ah, you know! --- By your wistful eyes on mine
   And your tender touch upon my knee.

How long is it since I found you first
   Footsore and forsaken, by Meela dam,
And carried you home --- you were lighter then ---
   On the saddle like some young motherless lamb? ---
How long since the poley cow had me drowned,
   All but, when straight for her throat you swam?

How long since you tracked for your new-chum mate
   In the ranges, many a weary day.
The maiden ewes that Switzer Karl
   In his full-moon madness hunted away ---
For 'twas you fetched the fifteen hundred back
   With a scanty score for the dingo's prey.

Three years or four --- for the bumble-foot mare
   Has three of a following, since we came
To the ten-mile hut together, old Dick.
   And in winter glow of the gidya flame
And in summer shade of the moth-wing roof
   The dream I have dreamed was the same --- the same.

I have seen forever a fair-haired girl
   Whose troth was kept when none else were true,
Whose presence should gladden her one love's lot;
   I have told it to you, Dick --- only you.
The dear brave letters she always sent! ---
   You knew they were hers? Oh, surely you knew!

But this is not hers that I hold to-day.
   She is dead and buried across the sea.
Yet somewhere she lives and she loves me, Dick;
   And she loves you too --- because of me.
Ah, you understand --- by your eyes on mine
   And your touch so tender upon my knee!

First published in The Queenslander, 24 March 1894

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Old Qld Poetry

See also.

To an Old Pocket Book by Henry Parkes

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The star which brightens through the breaking storm,
In solitary beauty, hath a charm,
For him whose eye discovers its pale speck
From off the writhing vessel's sea wrench'd deck --
A charm which o'er reviving sense will dart,
And almost master manhood's resolute heart,
Recalling, with the magic of its beam --
Sudden and vivid -- dreams of childhood's dream;
The home, the very self-same home he left,
The lights and shadows which were wont to shift
Before his eyes, years, many years ago,
When oft he wonder'd in the starlight's glow,
('Ere his lone heart the wide world's ills had proved,)
With those who loved him, and were his beloved!
And, like that star, my friend's old pocket book,
   (Though gone thy outward glass, and worthless thou,)
Up-turn'd unthinkingly, -- thy time-worn look
   Breaks through the tempest of my bosom now,
And brings bright pictures of the past to mind,
Faces all smiles, and hearts for ever kind.
Yes! we were happy when I first saw thee,
Both -- he who had thee then in keeping, he
Who now will keep thee, as his parting gift!
But that brief season of the soul flew swift;
Both had our troubles ere we parted -- both
Bore hearts of unmatured and wither'd growth   
Away in heaviness; though sun and rain,
For him, may now have brought the flowers again.
Such is my prayer and hope -- that Misery
Left him with Fortune when she follow'd me!
But oh! the sight of thee recalls the sunny
Moments which flew, uncursed by strife for money.

First published in Australasian Chronicle, 12 January 1841

Author: Henry Parkes (1815-1896) was born into rather meagre circumstances in Warwickshire England in 1815.   After a series of financial difficulties he and his wife left England for New South Wales, arriving in Sydney on 25 July 1839.  Although dogged with business problems, Parkes became increasingly involved with the literary and political life of the colony and entered Parliament in 1854. He served five terms as Premier of the colony between 1872 and 1891.  In later years he actively campaigned for the Federation of Australia but failed to live to see his dream fulfilled in 1901.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

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