(7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)

All Fools' Day

Now is the day when arrant fools
Play outworn tricks on sober men!
But, for the thoughtful soul that schools
His mind to conning o'er again
Past folly, that he may see clear
Faults of commission and neglect,
This is the day in all the year
For help-inducing retrospect!

Myself, when young and confident,
Walked ever proudly on my way;
With eyes set onward as I went
I gave small heed to yesterday.
But, growing old, the once bright star
Waned to a faint and sickly flame;
So faint I'd turn and gaze afar
For help along the way I came.

A chastening exercise for me
This yearly task of harking back;
For what a piteous fool I see
Comes tumbling up that thorny track!
I would cast ashes on my head
Did consolation not recall
That in the end, when all is said,
Both young and old, well - aren't we all?

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