To My Sister (Lawson poem)

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Thou'rt sleeping calmly in thy tomb,
While I from day to day
Still blunder on amid the gloom
Of life's uncertain way.

Thou'rt resting here in perfect peace,
Kind Heaven favoured thee,
In that it willed thee quick release
From all the cares that be.

But thou wert ne'er a child of earth,
Ne'er like the noisy crowd
Who clustered round our father's hearth —
Thy voice was never loud.

And sometimes when the moon at night
Shines through the open door,
And casts a belt of silver light
Across our humble floor —

I fancy then, my sister dear,
That back to earth and me
Thy spirit floats; I feel thee near,
Though thee I cannot see.

I stretch vain arms that would enfold
Thee in a fond embrace,
Forgetting long, long, years have rolled
Since I beheld thy face.

'Twas well thou could'st not long remain
Where care would be thy lot,
Nor would I have thee back again,
God knows, dear, I would not.

In vain in thought I backward stray
And search from year to year
To record find of e'en a day
Unclouded by a care.

Joy never twined a wreath for me
In May-day's sunniest hours,
But sorrow's tares were safe to be
Inwoven with the flowers.

It hovers o'er me through the night
And robs me of my rest,
Nor flies when morning sunbeams light
The dew on nature's breast.

But storms may beat about thy grave
And rage above thy head;
It frets thee not how winds may rave —
Safe in thy silent bed.

And I could oft without regret
Resign each cherished scheme
And rest with thee, so care beset
And weary do I seem.

But not while shines an harvest sun
Must slumber come to me,
At eve, with full day's labour done
Sweeter the rest will be.

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.