Skyline Riders and Other Verses

The Memories They Bring

Henry Lawson

I WOULD never waste the hours
    Of the time that is mine own,
Writing verses about flowers
    For their own sweet sakes alone;
Gushing as a schoolgirl gushes
    Over babies at their best—
Or as poets trill of thrushes,
    Larks, and starlings and the rest.

I am not a man who praises
    Beauty that he cannot see,
But the buttercups and daisies
    Bring my childhood back to me;
And before life’s bitter battle,
    That breaks lion hearts and kills,
Oh the waratah and wattle
    Saw my boyhood on the hills.

It was “Cissy” or Cecilia,
    And I loved her very much,
When I wore the white camelia
    That will wither at a touch.
Ah, the fairest chapter closes
    With lilies white and blue,
When the wild days with the roses
    Cast their glamour over you!

Vine leaves fall and laurels wither
    (Madd’ning drink and pride insane),
And the fate that sends us hither
    Ever takes us back again.
Fading flowers—slow pulsations—
    Flowers pressed for memory
But the red and pink carnations
    Speak most bitter things to me.

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