Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

Foreign Lands

Henry Lawson 1867 (Grenfell) – 1922 (Sydney)



You may roam the wide seas over, follow, meet, and cross the sun,
Sail as far as ships can sail, and travel far as trains can run;
You may ride and tramp wherever range or plain or sea expands,
But the crowd has been before you, and you’ll not find ‘Foreign Lands;’
For the Early Days are over,
And no more the white-winged rover
Sinks the gale-worn coast of England bound for bays in Foreign Lands.
Foreign Lands are in the distance dim and dreamlike, faint and far,
Long ago, and over yonder, where our boyhood fancies are,
For the land is by the railway cramped as though with iron bands,
And the steamship and the cable did away with Foreign Lands.
Ah! the days of blue and gold!
When the news was six months old—
But the news was worth the telling in the days of Foreign Lands.

Here we slave the dull years hopeless for the sake of Wool and Wheat
Here the homes of ugly Commerce—niggard farm and haggard street;
Yet our mothers and our fathers won the life the heart demands—
Less than fifty years gone over, we were born in Foreign Lands.

When the gipsies stole the children still, in village tale and song,
And the world was wide to travel, and the roving spirit strong;
When they dreamed of South Sea Islands, summer seas and coral strands—
Then the bravest hearts of England sailed away to Foreign Lands,
‘Fitting foreign’—flood and field—
Half the world and orders sealed—
And the first and best of Europe went to fight in Foreign Lands.

Canvas towers on the ocean—homeward bound and outward bound—
Glint of topsails over islands—splash of anchors in the sound;
Then they landed in the forests, took their strong lives in their hands,
And they fought and toiled and conquered—making homes in Foreign Lands,
Through the cold and through the drought—
Further on and further out—
Winning half the world for England in the wilds of Foreign Lands.

Love and pride of life inspired them when the simple village hearts
Followed Master Will and Harry—gone abroad to ‘furrin parts’
By our townships and our cities, and across the desert sands
Are the graves of those who fought and died for us in Foreign Lands—
Gave their young lives for our sake
(Was it all a grand mistake?)
Sons of Master Will and Harry born abroad in Foreign Lands!

Ah, my girl, our lives are narrow, and in sordid days like these,
I can hate the things that banished ‘Foreign Lands across the seas,’
But with all the world before us, God above us—hearts and hands,
I can sail the seas in fancy far away to Foreign Lands.

Font size:
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:17 min read
94 Views

Henry Lawson

Henry Lawson 17 June 1867 - 2 September 1922 was an Australian writer and poet Along with his contemporary Banjo Paterson Lawson is among the best-known Australian poets and fiction writers of the colonial period more…

All Henry Lawson poems | Henry Lawson Books

FAVORITE (1 fan)

Discuss this Henry Lawson poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "Foreign Lands" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 21 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/17796/foreign-lands>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    A poem in which the first letters of each line spell a word is called _______.
    • A. an acrostic
    • B. a sestina
    • C. a haiku
    • D. an ode

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »