Valedictory Poem

A poem by Adam Lindsay Gordon

Lay me low, my work is done;
I am weary. Lay me low,
Where the wild flowers woo the sun,
Where the balmy breezes blow,
Where the butterfly takes wing,
Where the aspens, drooping, grow,
Where the young birds chirp and sing,
I am weary, let me go.

I have striven hard and long
In the world’s unequal fight,
Always to resist the wrong,
Always to maintain the right.
Always with a stubborn heart,
Taking, giving blow for blow;
Brother, I have played my part,
And am weary, let me go.

Stern the world and bitter cold,
Irksome, painful to endure;
Everywhere a love of gold,
Nowhere pity for the poor.
Everywhere mistrust, disguise,
Pride, hypocrisy, and show,
Draw the curtains, close mine eyes,
I am weary, let me go.

Other chance when I am gone
May restore the battle-call,
Bravely lead the good cause on
Fighting in the which I fall.
God may quicken some true soul
Here to take my place below
In the heroes’ muster-roll,
I am weary, let me go.

Shield and buckler, hang them up,
Drape the standards on the wall,
I have drained the mortal cup
To the finish, dregs and all;
When our work is done ’tis best,
Brother, best that we should go,
I am weary, let me rest,
I am weary, lay me low.

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