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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Adam Lindsay Gordon 1833–70



LAY me low, my work is done,

I am weary. Lay me low,

Where the wild flowers woo the sun,

Where the balmy breezes blow,

Where the butterfly takes wing,

Where the aspens, drooping, grow,

Where the young birds chirp and sing—

I am weary, let me go.

I have striven hard and long

In the world’s unequal fight,

Always to resist the wrong,

Always to maintain the right.

Always with a stubborn heart,

Taking, giving blow for blow;

Brother, I have played my part,

And am weary, let me go.

Stern the world and bitter cold,

Irksome, painful to endure;

Everywhere a love of gold,

Nowhere pity for the poor.

Everywhere mistrust, disguise,

Pride, hypocrisy, and show;

Draw the curtain, close mine eyes,

I am weary, let me go.

Other chance when I am gone

May restore the battle-call,

Bravely lead the good cause on

Fighting in the which I fall.

God may quicken some true soul

Here to take my place below

In the heroes’ muster roll—

I am weary, let me go.

Shield and buckler, hang them up,

Drape the standards on the wall,

I have drained the mortal cup

To the finish, dregs and all;

When our work is done, ’t is best,

Brother, best that we should go—

I am weary, let me rest,

I am weary, lay me low.