I met Her on the Railway (1856)


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.


From Sydney Morning Herald

Henry Halloran was a native of South Africa, having been born in 1811 at Cape Town, where his father was rector of the grammar school and chaplain to the forces. After some residence in England, he came out to this colony, entering the Survey Office in 1827, and continued in the Civil Service for a period of 51 years, when he retired on a pension, having risen to the position of Principal Under-Secretary, in which he was considered to have shown remarkable administrative ability.

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