Henry Lawson

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

Otherside - Poem by Henry Lawson

Somewhere in the mystic future, on the road to Paradise,
There’s a very pleasant country that I’ve dreamed of once or twice,
It has inland towns, and cities by the ocean’s rocky shelves,
But the people of the country differ somewhat from ourselves;
It is many leagues beyond us, and they call it Otherside.
And there is among its people more Humanity than Pride.

Now, a social system never was complete, without a flaw,
And among the Othersiders there is love and gold and war.
But if one is fairly beaten he can turn upon the track,
For in such a case there isn’t any shame in going back;
And a broken-hearted mortal never thinks of suicide,
For he finds amongst his brothers more Humanity than Pride.

And the lords of that creation never scoff at simple things,
Never scorn the lad who’s tethered to his mother’s apron-strings.
He will speak of “home” and “mother” without shame when he’s inclined,
Yet the blow he strikes in battle mostly leaves a mark behind.
They are brave against invasion; they can die in Otherside,
Though there is among the people more Humanity than Pride.

Poets sing in simple language that a child might understand,
Yet their songs are sung for ages by the elders of the land;
And the people know that Freedom never shall be wanting guards,
For the foremost in the vanguard waves the banner of the Bards.
O the poets march together, and at home in peace abide,
For there is amongst the people more Humanity than Pride.

And when I am very weary, ’neath a load of “worldly care”,
There are times when I’ve a longing just to hump my bluey there;
But alone I could not reach it, for the track is barred to one—
I must take the nations with me—all mankind must go, or none—
And we’d trample one another on the way to Otherside,
For I find among my brothers less Humanity than Pride.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 29, 2010

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