Wide Spaces

A poem by Henry Lawson

When my last long-beer has vanished and the truth is left unsaid;
When each sordid care is banished from my chair and from my bed,
And my common people sadly murmur: "'Arry Lawson dead,"

When the man I was denounces all the things that I was not,
When the true souls stand like granite, while the souls of liars not,
When the quids I gave are counted, and the trays I cadged forgot;

Shall my spirit see the country that it wrote for once again?
Shall it see the old selections, and the common street and lane?
Shall it pass across the Black Soil and across the Red Soil Plain?

Shall it see the gaunt Bushwoman "slave until she's fit to drop",
For the distant trip to Sydney, all depending on the crop?
Or the twinkling legs of kiddies, running to the lollie-shop?

Shall my spirit see the failures battling west and fighting here?
Shall it see the darkened shanty, or the bar-room dull and drear?
Shall it whisper to the landlord to give Bummer Smith a beer?

Will they let me out of Heaven, or Valhalla, on my own,
Or the Social Halls of Hades (where I shall not be alone),
Just to bring a breath of comfort to the hells that I have known?

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