Henry Lawson

To Jim

I gaze upon my son once more, With eyes and heart that tire, As solemnly he stands before The screen drawn round the fire; With hands behind clasped hand in hand, Now loosely and now fast Just as his fathers used to stand For generations past. A fair and slight and childish form, And big brown thoughtful eyes God help him! for a life of storm And stress before him lies: A wanderer and a gipsy wild, I’ve learnt the world and know, For I was such another child Ah, many years ago! But in those dreamy eyes of him There is no hint of doubt I wish that you could tell me, Jim, The things you dream about. Dream on, my son, that all is true And things not what they seem ’Twill be a bitter day for you When wakened from your dream. You are a child of field and flood, But with the gipsy strains A strong Norwegian sailor’s blood Is running through your veins. Be true, and slander never stings, Be straight, and all may frown You’ll have the strength to grapple things That dragged your father down. These lines I write with bitter tears And failing heart and hand, But you will read in after years, And you will understand: You’ll hear the slander of the crowd, They’ll whisper tales of shame, But days will come when you’ll be proud To bear your father’s name. But oh! beware of bitterness When you are wronged, my lad I wish I had the faith in men And women that I had! ’Tis better far (for I have felt The sadness in my song) To trust all men and still be wronged Than to trust none and wrong. Be generous and still do good And banish while you live The spectre of ingratitude That haunts the ones who give. But if the crisis comes at length That your future might be marred, Strike hard, my son, with all your strength! For your own self’s sake, strike hard!

Comment Section just now

Feel free to be first to leave comment.

8/2200 - 0