Henry Lawson

The Song Of The Waste-Paper Basket

O bard of fortune, you deem me nought But a mark for your careless scorn. For I am the echo-less grave of thought That is strangled before it’s born. You think perchance that I am a doom Which only a dunce should dread Nor dream I’ve been the dishonoured tomb Of the noblest and brightest dead. The brightest fancies that e’er can fly From the labouring minds of men Are often written in lines awry, And marred by a blundering pen; And thus it comes that I gain a part Of what to the world is loss Of genius lost for the want of art, Of pearls that are set in dross. And though I am of a lowly birth My fame has been cheaply bought, A power am I, for I rob the earth Of the brightest gems of thought; The Press gains much of my lawful share, I am wronged without redress But I have revenge, for I think it fair That I should plunder the Press. You’d pause in wonder to read behind The lines of some songs I see; The soul of the singer I often find In songs that are thrown to me. But the song of the singer I bury deep With the scrawl of the dunce and clown, And both from the eyes of the world I keep, And the hopes of both I drown.

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