Let's Be Fools Tonight
or, "The Three Partners"

Henry Lawson, 1888

      We, three men of commerce,
      Striving wealth to raise,
      See but little promise
      In the coming days;
      Though our hearts are brittle,
      Hardened near to stone,
      We can think a little
      Of the seasons flown.

      Lily days and rose days:
      Youthful days so bright;
      We were fools in those days,
      Let's be fools to-night.

      We, three men of commerce,
      Men of business we,
      Gave but little promise
      Of what we would be
      When we wandered urchins —
      Foes of law and rule —
      Fearing only birchings
      And the village school.

      Lily days and rose days,
      Boyhood's days so bright;
      We were fools in those days,
      Let's be fools to-night.

      We, three men of commerce,
      Men of business we,
      Gave but little promise
      Of ability
      When we lived in riot;
      Never drew the line,
      Hating peace and quiet,
      Loving maids and wine.

      Days when money goes — days
      When men's hearts are right;
      We were fools in those days,
      Let's be fools to-night.

      We must wear to-morrow
      All our worldly marks,
      Calm looks for our sorrow,
      Stern looks for our clerks,
      Who, from trouble shrinking,
      Tasting earthly joys,
      Hate us, little thinking
      Ever we were boys.

      Days when kindness flows — days
      When men's hearts are white;
      We've been wise since those days,
      Let's be fools to-night.