In the Street by Mabel Forrest

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The street at night: a line of light,
And the red and blue of the flashing cars.
   The surging masses of people flow --
   Hurrying or idling, on they go
Thro' the tempting glow of the city bars.

As I cross the street with lingering feet,
And pause on the iron bridge awhile,
   Something comes thro' the human rush --
   Something speaks of the silent bush,
And moves me to a wondering smile.

Only a sound on the metalled ground,
Crossing close by the shadowy Quay,
   A little mob of bewildered sheep,
   Afraid to hurry -- afraid to creep,
Bringing memories back to me.

Each woolly back from the grey bush track,
Each frightened eye in the gas-lamp's flare
   Recalling the yards at Cargoolees,
   And the fragrant breath of the wattle breeze,
And mountain ranges, away out there.

Tram-cars speeding, all unheeding
The tremb'ling creatures beside the wall.
   The tramp of hoofs on the flinty ground,
   Of drafted sheep for the shambles bound,
And a strangeness over all.

The street so richly gemmed with light --
The town that has no time to sleep --
   Loud laughs and oaths ring from the bars --
   While flashing lights from passing cars
Reveal to me the frightened sheep!

First published in Steele Rudd's Magazine, 7 April 1904

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 7, 2014 7:30 AM.

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