The Memories They Bring

Henry Lawson, 1905

      I would never waste the hours
             Of the time that is mine own,
      Writing verses about flowers
             For their own sweet sakes alone;
      Gushing as a schoolgirl gushes
             Over babies at their best —
      Or as poets trill of thrushes,
             Larks, and starlings and the rest.

      I am not a man who praises
             Beauty that he cannot see,
      But the buttercups and daisies
             Bring my childhood back to me;
      And before life's bitter battle,
             That breaks lion hearts and kills,
      Oh the waratah and wattle
             Saw my boyhood on the hills.

      It was "Cissy" or Cecilia,
             And I loved her very much,
      When I wore the white camelia
             That will wither at a touch.
      Ah, the fairest chapter closes
             With lilies white and blue,
      When the wild days with the roses
             Cast their glamour over you!

      Vine leaves fall and laurels wither
             (Madd'ning drink and pride insane),
      And the fate that sends us hither
             Ever takes us back again.
      Fading flowers — slow pulsations —
             Flowers pressed for memory
      But the red and pink carnations
             Speak most bitter things to me.