Works in the Herald 1935

Lord Horder, famous physician, and chairman of London's Anti-Noise League, says that the source of Melbourne's noise is its trams. Noise, he adds, is only another form of bad manners.

So there I was in the city again
   From the calm of the quiet bush,
And I saw strange faces, sick with strain,
   Where the street crowds weave and push.
And every face that passed me bore
   That look of half-guessed fear,
While the traffic's never-ceasing roar
   Came to my tortured ear.

Trams!  --------  Electric trams!
Hear their thunders, shriekings, slams!
   Unholy things, by fiends devised --
   Unmannerly!  Uncivilised!
   By famed physicians criticsed:
I loathe to have them near me.
   I say I loathe -- Aw, what's the use
   Of bellowing my front teeth loose
   And shouting all this fierce abuse
When not a soul can hear me?

So, here I am in the bush again,
   And I hear the bushbirds call
Their matin songs -- ah, rich refrain!
   Flame-robin first of all,
Now whip-bird, now melodious thrush.
   Fain would I forget
The clamorous street, the favored rush.
   Come peace; come dreams -- and, yet --

Trams!  --------  Menace of trams!
Even here a swift dread dams
   My flow of joy.  I can't forget
   The evil may pursue me yet
   To this far Eden, and their threat
A deadlier pang arouses;
   And I am filled with new-found fear
   That, should the cities sweep them clear
   They'll drag the ghastly things up here
To serve as summer-houses!

Herald, 14 September 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2004