The Worker 17 May 1917.
A Poem by Hugh Stone

Oft he comes and sits beside me,
In a side room off the bar,
And he he sits and sips his amber,
And he talks of days afar ;
But though Grand-dad sees me daily–
Every morn we sip out ale–
Grand-dad only has one topic–
How he drove the Western Mail.

There were no hard roads, he tells me,
In those coaching days afar.
Bogs in winter, dust in summer ;
No lights save some gleaming star ;
Bridgeless rivers, foaming , madly ;
Plains in flood in winter's gale.
Grand-dad chuckles as he chatters
Tales about that Western Mail.

Grand-dad has a scorn for motors,
Grand-dad has a sneer for blkes ;
Blue roans and bays, and blacks and greys,
These are the things that Grand-dad likes,
Grand-dad's steps are growing feeble,
Grand-dad's eyes begin to fail,    
But his inner light still shows him
Someone on an old-time mail.

And I fancy I can see him,
Picture him as he was then,
Tall and supple as a sapling,    
Tipping scales at ten-stone ten,
Britishers might call him "leggie,"
Foreigners might call him frail,
But I guess his grip would hurt you
When he drove the Western Mail.

Once I took the old man with me,
And we stood beneath the glare
Of the Sydney railway station,
With the long train waiting there.
Not for years he'd seen an engine,
Never been out west by rail ;
So I touched him as I whispered ;
"Grand-dad, THAT'S the Western Mail."

But the old man didn't answer,
But I caught a glimpse of pain
Traveling down the rugged features
As he eyed the waiting train ;
But it passed as quick as lightning  
And across the cheeks grown pale
There was contempt plainly written
For the modern Western Mail.

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