The Way of the World

Henry Lawson, 1896

      When fairer faces turn from me,
             And gayer friends grow cold,
      And I have lost through poverty
             The friendship bought with gold;
      When I have served the selfish turn
             Of some all-worldly few,
      And Folly's lamps have ceased to burn,
             Then I'll come back to you.

      When my admirers find I'm not
             The rising star they thought,
      And praise or blame is all forgot
             My early promise brought;
      When brighter rivals lead a host
             Where once I led a few,
      And kinder times reward their boast,
             Then I'll come back to you.

      You loved me, not for what I had
             Or what I might have been,
      You saw the good, but not the bad,
             Was kind, for that between.
      I know that you'll forgive again —
             That you will judge me true;
      I'll be too tired to explain
             When I come back to you.