Laura Days

Dreaming to-day in a forest green
Where the great gums rake the sky,
My thoughts turn back to another scene
And to old days, long gone by;
To a land of youth, and a youth's employ,
And - to filch another's phrase -
To the men who were boys, when I was a boy,
In the long gone Laura days.

To a little town that nestles down
By the hills of Beetaloo,
Where a youth dreamed dreams of fair renown,
And a man's ambition grew,
'Twas here his earliest songs were sung
And he won his earliest praise
From men who were young when he was young
In the long gone Laura days.

Spicer, Stockdale, Ballantyne,
Marrie, Mitchell and Braund;
How many a right good pal of mine
Has gone from that sunlit land.
How many a man, how many a lad,
Whose head now slowly greys,
To a song grew glad as I grew glad
In those long gone Laura days.

Susman, Sibly and Dr Cook,
Blume and Barrington,
Oh! the lives of some are a long-closed book,
But many a tale runs on.
Hollis and Harvey, Chandler, Green
Are gone their various ways,
But I see them all in the olden scene
Of the long gone Laura days.

I see them still, I see the town
Under those scrub-clad hills,
The shops where the quiet street runs down,
Wilson, Rowland, Bills.
Taylor, Weste, Felstead too,
Cole of the kindly ways,
And many other friends I knew
In the long gone Laura days.

And the names of some come slow to mind,
But the faces greet me clear,
And I hold them all as men most kind,
As I hold the old town dear;
And so in memory to the end
That old time picture stays,
For I see each face as a faithful friend
Of the far off Laura days.

To the ladies all I lift a glass,
And toast with a right good will,
Every matron, every lass, who
Shine in memory still,
Fair would I hymn them all in rhyme
With soaring song of praise,
Friends of mine from a golden time
In the long gone Laura days.

When the evening sun slants through the gums,
By my forest-rimmed abode,
Once more the old clear picture comes,
And my mind drifts down the road;
Back to the town by Beetaloo,
Where the Rocky River strays;
Back to the old kind friends I knew
In the dear dead Laura days.

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"Laura Days" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 21 Feb. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6426/laura-days>.

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