The Sydney Train

The Sydney Morning Herald Sat 1 Nov 1930  p. 9.
The Sydney train has rested
Where far Condobolin lies,
And Lachlan's stream, brown-breasted,
Reflects the starry skies.
But now the steam is singing
Her drivers bite the rail,
And west of Condo., swinging,
She takes the desert trail.

Across the silent river,
Her headlight's flashing rays,
On bright, twin metals quiver
To show the desert ways,
Level for many a mile hence
And straight as poinard's thrust,
Into the heart of silence,
They guide loud Clamour's lust.

The Sydney train goes leaping
O'er saltbush plain and sand,
Her side-rods proudly sweeping
Her hot breath furnace-tanned. . . .
A glare on tent or rafter,
A hamlet flitting past,
And silence follows after
This flying thunder blast.

The throbbing of her pistons
Is hot with rich romance,
Men hear her in the distance
And at their watches glance,
For, into silent places
She brings the thoughts of men—
A shuttle bright, that races,
Then hurries back again.

Then, in the morning's glory,
The Darling hears her tread
Old River ! bent and hoary
What was't her drivers said,
As thundering o'er your bridges,
With every pier athrill,
She flew to breast the ridges
That lead to Broken Hill ?

"Oh! miles were made to slaughter,
Where teams were wont to plod
The furlongs turn to water,
While Time and Distance nod.
We take Time by the throttle
And Distance by the heels,
Till river-gum or wattle
The rush of cities feels."

All silently the river
Goes rolling to the sea,
In pools her waters quiver,
Or hurry, light and free.
Though loud the train may thunder
And bring the city near
To make the people wonder
The river does not hear.


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