The Patteran

A poem by Henry Lawson

From over the leagues of ice and snow, and the miles of scorching sand;
From back of the days of long ago, and the lonely sea and land,
To the end of the world and our Gipsy race, to the death of our dark-eyed line,
I have set the lines on my children’s palms as my fathers did on mine,
That the world shall know and my name shall glow in the light of the aftershine,
I have set the lines on my children’s palms as my fathers did on mine.

I have given them health and strength, pure blood, clear skins for a glorious youth;
I have set in their souls contempt for sham, and a deathless regard for truth;
I have bequeathed the spirit to fight, I have given the will to rise,
And the slumbering fires of Hate and Love in their dreaming, dreaming eyes.
That the world shall know and my name shall glow in the light of the aftershine,
I have set the lines on my children’s palms as my fathers did on mine.

I have given the love for their native land, wherever that land may be
(My children came from the East, my friends, and round by the Northern Sea),
And a son of a son of mine enemy, to the end of his treacherous line,
Shall be stricken to earth, if he dare but speak, by a son of a son of mine.
That the world shall know and my name shall glow in the light of the aftershine,
I have set the lines on my children’s palms as my fathers did on mine.

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