A Swagman’s Epitaph [poem by Louis Esson]

[Editor: This poem by Louis Esson was published in Red Gums and Other Verses (1912).]

A Swagman’s Epitaph.

Tho’ by this Coolabah his body lies,
He wakes to find that Death’s a grand surprise;
Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, there and back,
He’ll tramp it all, and whistle down the track.

Louis Esson, Red Gums and Other Verses, Melbourne: Fraser & Jenkinson, 1912, page 38

Editor’s notes:
Coolabah = Coolabah tree (Eucalyptus coolabah and Eucalyptus microtheca), a type of tree native to northern Australia, usually found beside bodies of water or in flood-prone areas

Purgatory = a place, or state of being, where souls are made pure, through suffering, before they go to Heaven (part of the theological doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church)

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