For Australia


Henry Lawson

AND his death came in December,
    When our summer was aglow—
Like a song that we remember,
    Like a child’s dream long ago,
And it brought Australia to him,
    Her sweetest singer dead,
While in silence friends who knew him
    Bowed their heads beside his bed.

Angel Death comes softly stealing
    When the watchers’ eyes are dim,
And, when all has failed in healing
    Wounded heart or helpless limb—
With a whisper we may hear not
    ’Till with “Adsum” we respond,
And a vision we shall fear not
    Of the Peaceful Land beyond.

While Australians in their blindness
    Fail to realize their loss,
Place the wreath of loving kindness
    And raise the simple cross.
For he taught us to be brothers
    And he taught us to be brave—
And we’ll banish pride and envy
    With a hand-clasp by his grave.

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