For Australia

Till All the Bad Things Came Untrue

Henry Lawson

BY blacksoil plains burned grey with drought
    Where desert shrubs and grasses grow,
Along the Land of Furthest Out
    That only Overlanders know.
I dreamed I camped on river grass
    In bends where river timber grew—
I dreamed, I dreamed the days to pass
    Till all the bad things came untrue.

I dreamed that I was young again,
    But was not young as I had been,
My path through life seemed fair and plain,
    My sight and hearing clear and keen.
No longer bent nor lined and grey,
    I met and loved and worshipped you—
I dreamed, I dreamed the days away
    Till all the sad things came untrue.

I dreamed a home of freestone stood
    With toned tiled roofs as roofs should be,
By cliff and fall and beach and wood
    With wide verandahs to the sea.
I dreamed a hale gudeman and wife,
    With sons and daughters well-to-do,
Lived there the glorious old home life
    And all the mad things were untrue.

From blacksoil plains burned bare with drought
    Where years are sown that never grow—
From dead grey creeks of dreams and drought,
    Through black-ridged wastes of weirdest woe,
I tramped and camped with fearsome fare
    Until the sea-scape came in view,
And lo! the home lay smiling there
    And all the bad things were untrue.

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