[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.]
Philip was again at Wallendbeen, where he rested a few days and then went on to Cootamundra, whence he wrote, 10th July 1894, to the Editor of the National Advocate Bathurst:—
“According to my promise, I send you a couple of poems. I would have sent them before, but I could get no stamps until now. Work is very scarce; the diggings up here have filled the roads with travellers and swagmen, and many a time my circumstances and ration-bags were in a sad state of financial ruin. Sic vita est!
“As I shall be here for a week, you can acknowledge receipt of this to the above address. The weather is cold and frosty, and times in general seem to harmonize with it in their hardness on mankind.”
The pieces enclosed were:— ‘Not Always’ and ‘A Hearty Shake Hands.’ The first included these lines —
“Not always will the summer bring
Its true forget-me-not ;
Not always will the valleys ring
Aloud their favoured lot.
Not always will our lives repose
And chant a thankful psalm ;
Alas ! we have to bear the thorn
Ere we receive the palm.
Imperfect we in strength and will,
Through life’s all-changeful days ;
Though hearts are true, our lives may still
Pass in a tangled maze.”
E. A. Petherick (editor). Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, William Clowes and Sons, London, 1901, pages 39-40
sic vita est = (Latin) “thus is life”, or “such is life”