When I Am Gone [poem by Philip Durham Lorimer]

[Editor: This poem by Philip Durham Lorimer was published in Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, 1901. This poem is listed separately in the contents of the book, although it appears within the biographical section, from which the following text has been extracted.]

When I Am Gone

“When I am gone, oh let my ashes be
In peace and calm away from mortal stir ;
Beneath the boughs of shady forest tree
Let Nature’s own be then restored to her.

“No mourning o’er, or tears or falling sigh,
O’er fancied thoughts that once I bathed in light,
No clouds to hide the past when I am nigh,
And whisper slow my last farewell to night.

“Oh, read my verse without its mystic veil
In language plain, I’ve lived in many hearts —
And let my words no brother here assail,
But leave untouched their goal, if love departs.

“Around our homes I’ve brought the happy reign
Of that true love which here is seldom known ;
Life can be lived that mem’ries may retain
The fragrance of the seed which God through man has sown.

“In deepest gloom my pen has traced for me

Where light was brightest seen, and wearied then,
When want pressed hard, and left me torn but free,
I’ve sought and found a rest in homes of men.

“I’ve walked alone as one adrift from all,
Yet in communion with the heart of man,
Reaching his soul, in duty’s solemn call,
Ere life had ebbed and closed its mortal span.

“O Want! thy hands respect no state or frame,
Thy cruel grasp with its unfeeling hold
Is twin to Death with that all-dreaded name —
I leave without regret thy wasted fold.

“My hope leads on unto more pleasant ways,
And faith leaps too, to touch what seemeth kind ;
For man must live in light to know love’s praise,
And let its strength disarm and leave sin blind.”

E. A. Petherick (editor). Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, William Clowes and Sons, London, 1901, pages 48-49

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