The Song Of The Old Rail-Motor

Do you ever feel the song that the old rail-motor sings?
The song of an opening flower, from her mighty axle rings.

No, I didn't say, ‘Do you hear the song?’ for the outer ear alone
Distinguishes little music in her rattle, clank and groan
But the listening soul detects the beat of the nation's sturdy heart.
In the rise of our land to nationhood, the railways bore a part.
Through the thirsty anthill country, those noisy clanking wheels
Have borne industrious settlers to where the brolga reels
His strange exultant jig beside the meandering stream
To verdant, fertile valleys that comprise the settler's dream.

'Twas here they built the township; 'twas here they built the mill
And tractors brought the virgin land to adequately till.
What an enchanting song, the old railmotor sings to me-
She sings of a phase now passing, of the great vitality
Of past generation's farmers; how they cleared their blocks of land
With nary a bulldozer to lend a helping hand;
Of the buckboards at the station, where quiet horses learned to wait
For master to unload the cream inside the railway gate.

‘The opening bloom of Australia’ is the old rail-motor's song.
It makes my pulse's quicken; 'tis the land where I belong.
Could better comparison be made, than to call this land a tree,
Swift-growing, bursting into bloom with youth's virility;
A sturdy tree with branches reaching to the Kimberleys,
And through Cape York Peninsula an eager tendril weaves.
The golden flower opens wide, revealing a Red Centre
That stalwart folk, like seeking bees, forborne and health may enter.


Author unknown

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