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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 6 (September 1939)

The Night Express

The Night Express.

Last night I stood and waited for the
passing midnight train,
The wide, grey sky was clouded, the
earth was drenched by rain,
The fences were but shadow-shapes, the
trees, etched ebony,
And lost was all the landscape in a dim obscurity.
In the silence and the shadow of that
lonely, wayside place,
I thought myself the centre of a vast,
enchanted space—
The axis of a universe, of blue-black
earth and sky,
And I was one with Magnitude, the hub
of all was I.
Then suddenly a murmur stirred the
silence of the night,
And round the bend afar-off, showed a
glaring point of light,
The rails flashed into golden, and the
beat of every wheel
Urged faster, faster, faster, the livid
pulse of steel.
Gold grew the night's dark spaces that
lined the lonely track,
Fire-gems flew from the furnace, then
faded into black,
And on the passing shadows, fell a
latticed, amber chain,
And a whole great world came thunder-
ing in a mighty midnight train.
Then I, who had been standing in a
world that seemed my own,
Saw worlds and worlds unconquered,
dreamt dreams before unknown,
And left there in the darkness, I knew
that one day, I,
Would be trysting with Adventure when
the night express went by!

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