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To-Morrow

Henry Lawson 1867 (Grenfell) – 1922 (Sydney)



When you’re suffering hard for your sins, old man,
When you wake to trouble and sleep ill—
Oh, this is the clack of the middle class,
‘Win back the respect of the people!’
You are weak, you’re a fool, or a drunken brute
When you’re deep in trouble and sorrow;
But walk down the street in a decent suit,
And their hats will be off to-morrow! Old Chap—
And their hats will be off to-morrow!
They cant and they cackle—‘Redeem the Past!’
Who never had past worth redeeming:
Your soul seems dead, but you’ll find at last
That somewhere your soul lay dreaming.
You may stagger down-hill in a beer-stained coat,
You may loaf, you may cadge and borrow—
But walk down the street with a ten-pound note
And their hats will be off to-morrow! Old Man—
Yes, their hats will be off to-morrow!

But stick to it, man! for your old self’s sake,
Though to brood on the past is human;
Hold up for the sake of the mate who was true,
And the sake of the Other Woman.
And as for the rest, you may take off your hat
And banish all signs of sorrow;
You may take their hands, but in spite of that,
Can they win your respect to-morrow? Old Man—
Can they win your respect to-morrow?

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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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…

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