Originally published in 1918 as part of an advertising campaign for Heenzo (Hean's Essence), a coughs, colds, croup and catarrh remedy. The advertisement, which appeared around Australia and New Zealand, comprised six poems - 'The Tragedy' (Henry Lawson), 'A Repudiation' (J. W. Gordon), 'A Confession' (Mrs Stan Roberts), 'Another Confession' (Harley Cohen) and 'Absolution - For the Woman' and 'Forgiveness - For the Strollers' (both by Lawson under the pseudonym, 'Arry).
The advertisement was republished 1934 and again in 1944. Additional copy for the 1944 Bulletin reprint records:
Famous advertisement repeated after twenty-eight years in response to many request from all parts of Australia... The above poems ['The Tragedy' and 'A Repudiation'] caused Mrs Stan Roberts and Mr Harley Cohen to write the following poems, then Henry Lawson replied with 'Absolution' and 'Forgiveness' (5 July 1944, p.28).