Henry Lawson (17 June 1867 – 2 September 1922 / Grenfell, New South Wales)
The Men Who Stuck To Me
They were men of many nations, they were men of many stations,
They were men in many places, and of high and low degree;
Men of many types and faces, but, alike in all the races,
They were men I met in trouble, and the men who stuck to me.
Some were friends, but most were strangers; some were weary world-wide rangers;
Some in freedom were in prison, and in prison some were free,
Oh, I have a vivid vision of the men I met in prison—
In the craving for tobacco they were men who stuck to me.
Some I never met and never knew their great but vain endeavour,
For my sake! And some were old mates whom I never more may see;
Never heard me, some I talked with; never saw me, some I walked with;
Blind and deaf, and dumb and foreign were the men who stuck to me.
“Yes, I’ll stick!” the words most human, be the trouble man or woman;
Stick with money or without it, and whoever you may be;
Right or wrong—in drink or sadness—“stick” in sanity or madness—
Such as these, the men I stuck to, and the men who stuck to me.
Ah! we see not in our blindness that the world is full of kindness,
Kindness to make full atonement for all evil that there be;
Oh! my life was deadly fateful, but my heart was always grateful,
And I send this song at Christmas to the men who stuck to me.
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