In the Days When We Are Dead

Henry Lawson, 1908

      Listen! The end draws nearer,
             Nearer the morning — or night —
      And I see with a vision clearer
             That the beginning was right!
      These shall be words to remember
             When all has been done and said,
      And my fame is a dying ember
             In the days when I am dead.

      Listen! We wrote in sorrow,
             And we wrote by candle light;
      We took no heed of the morrow,
             And I think that we were right —
      (To-morrow, but not the day after,
             And I think that we were right).

      We wrote of a world that was human
             And we wrote of blood that was red,
      For a child, or a man, or a woman —
             Remember when we are dead.

      Listen! We wrote not for money,
             And listen! We wrote not for fame —
      We wrote for the milk and the honey
             Of Kindness, and not for a name.

      We paused not, nor faltered for any,
             Though many fell back where we led;
      We wrote of the few for the many —
             Remember when we are dead.

      We suffered as few men suffer,
             Yet laughed as few men laugh;
      We grin as the road grows rougher,
             And a bitterer cup we quaff.

      We lived for Right and for Laughter,
             And we fought for a Nation ahead —
      Remember it, friends, hereafter,
             In the years when I am dead —
      For to-morrow and not the day after,
             For ourselves, and a Nation ahead.