Lay of the Motor-Car by A.B. "Banjo" Paterson

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We're away! and the wind whistles shrewd
   In our whiskers and teeth;
And the granite-like grey of the road
   Seems to slide underneath.
As an eagle might sweep through the sky,
   So we sweep through the land;
And the pallid pedestrians fly
   When they hear us at hand.

We outpace, we outlast, we outstrip!
   Not the fast-fleeing hare,
Nor the racehorses under the whip,
   Nor the birds of the air
Can compete with our swiftness sublime,
   Our ease and our grace.
We annihilate chickens and time
   And policemen and space.

Do you mind that fat grocer who crossed?
   How he dropped down to pray
In the road when he saw he was lost;
   How he melted away
Underneath, and there rang through the fog
   His earsplitting squeal
As he went ----  Is that he or a dog,
   That stuff on the wheel?

First published in The Evening News, 24 February 1905;
and later in
Saltbush Bill, J.P., and Other Verses by A.B. Paterson, 1917;
The Collected Verse of A.B. Paterson by A.B. Paterson, 1982;
Song of the Pen, A.B. (Banjo) Paterson: Complete Works 1901-1941 edited by Rosamund Campbell and Philippa Harvie, 1983;
The Penguin Book of Australian Humorous Verse edited by Bill Scott, 1984;
A Vision Splendid: The Complete Poetry of A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson by A.B. Paterson, 1990;
Selected Poems: A. B. Paterson compiled by Les Murray, 1992;
A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson: Bush Ballads, Poems, Stories and Journalism edited by Clement Semmler, 1992; and
The Collected Verse of Banjo Paterson edited by Clement Semmler, 1993.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 24, 2011 8:21 AM.

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