When I was King and Other Verses

The Author’s Farewell to the Bushmen

Henry Lawson

SOME carry their swags in the Great North-West,
    Where the bravest battle and die,
And a few have gone to their last long rest,
    And a few have said: Good-bye!
The coast grows dim, and it may be long
    Ere the Gums again I see;
So I put my soul in a farewell song
    To the chaps who barracked for me.

Their days are hard at the best of times,
    And their dreams are dreams of care—
God bless them all for their big soft hearts,
    And the brave, brave grins they wear!
God keep me straight as a man can go,
    And true as a man may be!
For the sake of the hearts that were always so,
    Of the men who had faith in me!

And a ship-side word I would say, you chaps
    Of the blood of the Don’t-give-in!
The world will call it a boast, perhaps—
    But I’ll win, if a man can win!
And not for gold nor the world’s applause—
    Though ways to the end they be—
I’ll win, if a man might win, because
    Of the men who believed in me.

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