We Flash Across The Level

A poem by William Ernest Henley

We flash across the level.
We thunder thro' the bridges.
We bicker down the cuttings.
We sway along the ridges.

A rush of streaming hedges,
Of jostling lights and shadows,
Of hurtling, hurrying stations,
Of racing woods and meadows.

We charge the tunnels headlong -
The blackness roars and shatters.
We crash between embankments -
The open spins and scatters.

We shake off the miles like water,
We might carry a royal ransom;
And I think of her waiting, waiting,
And long for a common hansom.

1876

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