Treasure Island

Henry Lawson

(17 June 1867 – 2 September 1922 / Grenfell, New South Wales)

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After All



The brooding ghosts of Australian night have gone from the bush and town;
My spirit revives in the morning breeze,
though it died when the sun went down;
The river is high and the stream is strong,
and the grass is green and tall,
And I fain would think that this world of ours is a good world after all.

The light of passion in dreamy eyes, and a page of truth well read,
The glorious thrill in a heart grown cold of the spirit I thought was dead,
A song that goes to a comrade's heart, and a tear of pride let fall --
And my soul is strong! and the world to me is a grand world after all!

Let our enemies go by their old dull tracks,
and theirs be the fault or shame
(The man is bitter against the world who has only himself to blame);
Let the darkest side of the past be dark, and only the good recall;
For I must believe that the world, my dear, is a kind world after all.

It well may be that I saw too plain, and it may be I was blind;
But I'll keep my face to the dawning light,
though the devil may stand behind!
Though the devil may stand behind my back, I'll not see his shadow fall,
But read the signs in the morning stars of a good world after all.

Rest, for your eyes are weary, girl -- you have driven the worst away --
The ghost of the man that I might have been is gone from my heart to-day;
We'll live for life and the best it brings till our twilight shadows fall;
My heart grows brave, and the world, my girl, is a good world after all.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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Comments about this poem (After All by Henry Lawson )

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  • * Sunprincess * (7/9/2014 6:09:00 PM)

    ...........truly we must believe there is more goodness in the world than bad....after all truth and goodness triumphs every time.... (Report) Reply

  • Savita Tyagi (7/9/2014 8:21:00 AM)

    Beautiful poem full of love and Hope. We must believe in goodness. See joy and beauty in world otherwise we will be the victim of our own despair and sadness. (Report) Reply

  • Jennifer Chalk (3/6/2012 11:46:00 AM)

    A wonderful poem, full of optimism full of love and hope, has brightened the mood again no end (Report) Reply

  • Michael Pruchnicki (3/6/2010 10:42:00 AM)

    Is 'loving the subject, the meter, and the rhythm' the criteria for a good poem? Do wisdom and hope (highly subjective) suffice? Or does uplifting with 'rythm' (sic) fulfill the criteria? Perhaps a broad and free heart will prevail despite a lack of poetic skills? I just don't know, but I have a hunch that some on this site think so!

    After all is said and done, he said with a sly grin, you pays your money, doncha? (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (3/6/2010 12:30:00 AM)

    Opinion of a broad and free heart prevails over the world despite drawbacks! The outspoken ideas reflects true poetic spirit which is lacking in many of the kind the poetry world! This is the nature of a true poet I admire! (Report) Reply

  • Patrick A. Martin (8/16/2009 1:59:00 AM)

    You have been introduced to my boyhood hero if it is the first time you are reading Henry Lawson.Please don't stop reading his work he is the world's most under rated poet. (Report) Reply

  • Edith Oram (3/6/2008 2:28:00 PM)

    This is a positive poem which would make a good ballad if it were put to music. It is an uplifting poem with a strong rythm and message. (Report) Reply

Read all 14 comments »

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