Works in the Herald 1937

More than 50 years ago the writer heard an old man declare that some day men would be able to talk across the world without the aid of wires and cables. He was, or course, laughed at and called a foolish dreamer.

Said old Dad Smith in eighty-five - 
   That's two and fifty years ago - 
"I tells yeh, sure as you're alive, 
   Changes be comin', for I know. 
Wonders will spring about the earth 
   When we've been sleeping many a year, 
An' all about the world's wide girth 
   Marvel on marvel will appear. 
An' some shall bring man good they will; 
An' some shall be for human ill.

"A King shall sit in London Town 
   And speak to peoples far away, 
And all the Empire up an' down 
   Shall hear his voice the selfsame day 
Nay, at the selfsame moment all 
   His loyal subjects shall attend 
And hear the royal accents fall
   Afar, to his dominion's end." 
So old Dad Smith, the prophet, said, 
And wisely wagged his ancient head.

They called him fool, this olden sage, 
   A dreamer of unstable dreams, 
Who felt the burden of his age. 
   They said: "Such babble ill beseems 
The dignity of years." They laughed, 
   Showered him with ridicule and said, 
"Poor old Dad Smith is going daft, 
   He's getting feeble in the head. 
Such miracles can't happen now 
Or any time or anyhow."

Yet we, who heard and lived, have seen 
   Things that to us grow commonplace, 
Dreams realised that once had been 
   Fantastic to an older race. 
And, ere we die, see more we will -- 
   Fresh miracles by land and sea. 
But whether for man's good or ill, 
   Ah, who would dare to prophesy? 
Or strive to glimpse behind Time's brow 
New wonders, fifty years from now?

Herald, 6 May 1937, p6
The Queenslander, 10 June 1937, p3

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2011