In A Tram
One of the twain was long and dusty grey,
And like a spark that in the ashes lies,
Satiric laughter glinted in his eyes
And made his nose auroral with its ray:
The other like a huge black bird of prey,
His hat enorm, his pipe of awful size,
His coat hung empty-sleeved in careless wise,
Loomed a fat angel from the pit astray.
A voice was booming ever: laugh and jeer
Mingled with noble praise of battling right,
And verse and girls were mixed with radiant beer
And all the city tram was given sight
Of the invisible dark and bidden hear
Unsplashing silence of the pouring light.
A golden largesse from a store untold
Announced the ruddy day's imperial birth,
And woke a loyal world to jubilant mirth
And hopes that boasted, madly over-bold.
Shadow and thunder from a dull cloud rolled,
A shiver chilled the lately glittering firth,
As gloom set heavy hand upon the earth;
Yet look, on westward hills a gleam of gold.
You have laughed and bidden us laugh, O lord of jest;
You have wept and given us grief, O lonely friend;
And now we sit with silent lips and white,
And dream what craggy ways thou wanderest,
Not finding yet of hope or strife an end,
O soul set free from bondage of the night.
A timid child with heart oppressed
By images of sin,
I slunk into the bush for rest,
And found my fairy kin.
The fire I carried kept me warm:
The friendly air was chill.
The laggards of the lowing storm
Trailed gloom along the hill.
I watched the crawling monsters melt
And saw their shadows wane
As on my satin skin I felt
The fingers of the rain.
The sunlight was a golden beer,
I drank a magic draught;
The sky was clear and, void of fear,
I stood erect and laughed.
And sudden laughter, idly free,
About me trilled and rang,
And love was shed from every tree,
And little bushes sang.
The bay of conscience' bloody hound
That tears the world apart
Has never drowned the silent sound
Within my happy heart.