The Lily of St Leonards

Henry Lawson, 1907

      'Tis sunrise over Watson,
      Where I sailed out to sea,
      On that wild run to London
      That wrecked and ruined me.
      The beauty of the morning
      On bluff and point and bay,
      But the Lily of St Leonards
      Was fairer than the day.

      O Lily of St Leonards!
      And I was mad to roam —
      She died with loving words for me
      Three days ere I came home.

      As fair as lily whiteness,
      As pure as lily gold,
      And bright with childlike brightness
      And wise as worlds of old.
      Her heart for all was beating
      And all hearts were her own —
      Like sunshine through the Lily
      Her purity was shown.

      O Lily of St Leonards!
      My night is on the track,
      'Tis well you never lived to see
      The wreck that I came back.

      A leaden sky shuts over
      A sobbing leaden sea,
      For the Lily of St Leonards
      Is never more for me.
      I seek the wharf of Outward
      Where the deck no longer thrills
      Where she stood with great tears starting
      Like the lights on dark wet hills.

      The world was all before me
      The laurels on my brow —
      'Twas the world-star of the rovers,
      'Tis the Star of Exile now.