Do You Think That I Do Not Know?

A poem by Henry Lawson

They say that I never have written of love,
As a writer of songs should do;
They say that I never could touch the strings
With a touch that is firm and true;
They say I know nothing of women and men
In the fields where Love's roses grow,
And they say I must write with a halting pen
Do you think that I do not know?

When the love-burst came, like an English Spring,
In days when our hair was brown,
And the hem of her skirt was a sacred thing
And her hair was an angel's crown.
The shock when another man touched her arm,
Where the dancers sat round in a row;
The hope and despair, and the false alarm
Do you think that I do not know?

By the arbour lights on the western farms,
You remember the question put,
While you held her warm in your quivering arms
And you trembled from head to foot.
The electric shock from her finger tips,
And the murmuring answer low,
The soft, shy yielding of warm red lips
Do you think that I do not know?

She was buried at Brighton, where Gordon sleeps,
When I was a world away;
And the sad old garden its secret keeps,
For nobody knows to-day.
She left a message for me to read,
Where the wild wide oceans flow;
Do you know how the heart of a man can bleed
Do you think that I do not know?

I stood by the grave where the dead girl lies,
When the sunlit scenes were fair,
And the white clouds high in the autumn skies,
And I answered the message there.
But the haunting words of the dead to me
Shall go wherever I go.
She lives in the Marriage that Might Have Been
Do you think that I do not know?

They sneer or scoff, and they pray or groan,
And the false friend plays his part.
Do you think that the blackguard who drinks alone
Knows aught of a pure girl's heart?
Knows aught of the first pure love of a boy
With his warm young blood aglow,
Knows aught of the thrill of the world-old joy
Do you think that I do not know?

They say that I never have written of love,
They say that my heart is such
That finer feelings are far above;
But a writer may know too much.
There are darkest depths in the brightest nights,
When the clustering stars hang low;
There are things it would break his strong heart to write
Do you think that I do not know?

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