A Reverie (Lawson)

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For works with similar titles, see A Reverie.

Stern duty calls and I, alas,
   Must her behest obey.
Must now with strength my will compass,
   Nor wavering thought betray.

It is, it must be fate's decree,
   That while I sojourn here,
To be my lot to turn and flee
   From all my heart holds dear.

To pass with cold averted eyes,
   The hand I fain would clasp,
And shun the thing my soul would prize
   At last within my grasp.

Why did I choose this life of pain?
   Why do I live it still?
Why drink the dregs, and then again
   My cup of sorrow fill?

I do not know, I cannot tell.
   Nor why along the road
When from my back the burden fell
   I took again the load.

I think I love the life of pain
   That God has given to me.
For I would live it o'er again
   If such a thing could be.

The sorrows that have come to me
   Have taught me how to find
The souls in need of sympathy,
   The wrecked among mankind.

My loss has been a blessed gain
   For I have learnt to know,
That oft a simple woman's pain
   May heal a nation's woe.

This work is in the public domain in Australia because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council - Duration of Copyright (August 2014).


This work is also in the public domain in the United States because it was in the public domain in Australia in 1996, and no copyright was registered in the U.S. (This is the combined effect of Australia having joining the Berne Convention in 1928, and of 17 USC 104A with its critical date of January 1, 1996.)

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1920, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.