Cares

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Having certain cares to drown,
To the sea I took them down:

And I threw them in the wave,
That engulfed them like a grave.

Swiftly then I plied the oar
With a light heart to the shore.

But behind me came my foes:
Like a nine-days' corpse each rose,

And (a ghastly sight to see!)
Clutched the boat and girned at me!

With a heavy heart, alack,
To the land I bore them back.

Not in Water or in Wine
Can I drown these cares of mine.

But some day, for good and sure,
I shall bury them secure,

Where the soil is rich and brown,
With a stone to keep them down,

And to let their end be known,
Have my name carved on the stone;

So that passers-by may say,
“Here lie cares that had their day,”

And sometimes by moonlight wan,
I may sit that stone upon —

With a spectre's solemn phlegm —
In my shroud, and laugh at them;

Or — who knows, when all is said? —
Maybe weep because they're dead.

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 was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.