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100 Years ago....

Last words of Henry Lawson, the ill-starred bard of the bush

Sept 11, 1922

There have been many sincere words of regret and praise at the passing of the great Australian poet and writer Henry Lawson, but perhaps his own words in his will sum up our feelings.

Lawson wrote: "Lay out the body decently before my friends see it, for the soul was great. Remember me to my bush people."

The emotion of the thousands who attended his funeral would indicate that the remembrance will be everlasting.

He was indeed a man with his heart among the common people. A few of his casual sentences could stir uncommon interest, and such stories as The Drover's Wife, Water Them Geraniums or Joe Wilson's Courtship were full of the tragi-comedy of the lives of the simple people. His rugged poetry was often hung with the melancholy of the bush and the dust of the cattle tracks.

His own life was beset by self-doubt, loneliness, alcohol and also money worries, "but the soul was great".

Article from "Chronicle of the 20th Century" ISBN 1 872031 80 3

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