The Latter End of Spring
Henry Lawson, 1894
The wild wet waves of winter time were drifting o'er his head,
He wrote to her from Maoriland, and, this is what he said:
"It's hard to make a living, but, whatever fate may bring,
I'll come to meet the summer in the latter end of spring.
To my lips your kisses cling.
You to me are everything
I will come to clasp my darling in the latter end of spring."
She wrote, and if she waited, then she waited all in vain
The spring went by and summer, and the autumn came again.
The autumn passed and winter, and the youth of whom we sing
Was felling bush for tucker in the latter end of spring.
When your heart is on a string,
And small rest the night can bring
Oh, it's weary, weary waiting in the latter end of spring.
She wrote, but, ah, his hopes were crushed as often as they rose
(Otago's winds blow mighty cold through old Australian clothes).
The year went round again, and he - what sorrows fate can bring!
Was digging gum in tatters in the latter end of spring.
He would lose his head and sing
Of his blue-eyed Lily King
'Twas a brown-eyed girl that loved him in the latter end of spring.
But luck will change however and wherever you may roam;
An uncle left him money, and the calf grew fat at home
Then never ship can sail too fast when love is on the wing
He came to claim his sweetheart in the latter end of spring,
And his footstep had a swing
When he asked for Lily King....
She was married to a banker in the latter end of spring.
His brow went cold with pain, and then with anger it grew hot
"I'll love the girl who loves me since the girl I loved forgot!"
He turned to her unto whose soul his love was everything,
And married her in Maoriland before the end of spring.
Then fill the glass and sing,
For time is on the wing
It's jolly, jolly living in the luring months of spring.