When I was King and Other Verses

Break o’ Day

Henry Lawson

YOU love me, you say, and I think you do,
    But I know so many who don’t,
And how can I say I’ll be true to you
    When I know very well that I won’t?
I have journeyed long and my goal is far,
    I love, but I cannot bide,
For as sure as rises the morning star,
    With the break of day I’ll ride.

        I was doomed to ruin or doomed to mar
            The home wherever I stay,
        But I’ll think of you as the morning star
            And they call me Break o’ Day.

They well might have named me the Fall o’ Night,
    For drear is the track I mark,
But I love fair girls and I love the light,
    For I and my tribe were dark.
You may love me dear, for a day and night,
    You may cast your life aside;
But as sure as the morning star shines bright
    With the break of day I’ll ride.

There was never a lover so proud and kind,
    There was never a friend so true;
But the song of my life I have left behind
    In the heart of a girl like you.
There was never so deep or cruel a wrong
    In the land that is far away,
There was never so bitter a broken heart
    That rode at the break of day.

God bless you, dear, with your red-gold hair
    And your pitying eyes of grey—
Oh! my heart forbids that a star so fair
    Should be marred by the Break o’ Day.
Live on, my girl, as the girl you are,
    Be a good and a true man’s bride,
For as sure as beckons the evening star
    With the fall o’ night I’ll ride.

        I was born to ruin or born to mar
            The home wherever I light.
        Oh! I wish that you were the Evening Star
            And that I were the Fall o’ Night.

When I was King and Other Verses - Contents

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