I Met Her on the Railway

Sydney Morning Herald 26 May 1856
A Song by Henry Halloran

I met her on the Railway, in the joyous month of May,
And of her beauty did I think throughout the livelong day ;–
That beauty which all hearts subdues, majestic and yet mild–
The dignity of Woman, with the sweetness of the Child.    

I know not what some people think of this bright world of ours
To me it seems a paradise, and Woman first of flowers ;
Whose love makes sweet the Summer air, and cheers the Winter sky ;
Our safety when we spring to life–our solace when we die !

Pass on thy way, fair innocence ! enough that I have had
One smile from those bright eyes of thine to make my bosom glad.
We may not meet again, perchance, but to my heart I fold
That sunbeam smile, and prize it more, than miser can his gold.

22nd. May 1856


Published in The Sydney Morning Herald of 26 May 1856, this song was written nine months after the opening of the Sydney to Parramatta Railway (20 August 1855)

Henry Halloran (1811-93) was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and arrived in Australia in1822, after spending his childhood in England.  He traveled to Australia with his family to join his father who had been transported for forgery.

Halloran worked mainly in the New South Wales civil service, attaining the position of chief clerk.  He was active in the literary community of Sydney and was friendly with Henry Parkes and Henry Kendall. He died in Ashfield, New South Wales, in 1893.

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