To a Dead Mate

There's many a man who rides today
In the lonely, far out-back;
There's many a man who makes his way
On a dusty bushland track;
There's many a man in bush and town
Who mourns for a good mate gone;
There are eyes grown sad and heads cast down
Since Henry has passed on.

A mate he was, and a mate to love,
For mateship was his creed:
With a strong, true heart and a soul above
This sad world's sordid greed.
He lived as a mate, and wrote as a mate
Of the things which he believed.
Now many a good man mourns his fate,
And he leaves a nation grieved.

True champion he of the lame and halt:
True knight of the poor was he,
Who could e'er excuse a brother's fault
With a ready sympathy.
He suffered much, and much he toiled,
With his hand e'er for the right:
And he dreamed and planned while the billy boiled
In the bushland camp at night.

Joe Wilson and his mates are sad,
And the tears of bushwives fall,
For the kindly heart that Henry had
Had made him loved of all.
There's many a man who rides today,
Cast down and sore oppressed;
And thro' the land I hear them say:
'Pass, Henry, to your rest.'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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"To a Dead Mate" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 14 Jul 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6794/to-a-dead-mate>.

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