Poem – Faces In The Street – Henry Lawson 

They lie, the men who tell us in a loud decisive tone 
That want is here a stranger, and that misery’s unknown; 

For where the nearest suburb and the city proper meet 

My window-sill is level with the faces in the street — 

Drifting past, drifting past, 

To the beat of weary feet — 

While I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street. 
And cause I have to sorrow, in a land so young and fair,

To see upon those faces stamped the marks of Want and Care; 

I look in vain for traces of the fresh and fair and sweet 

In sallow, sunken faces that are drifting through the street — 

Drifting on, drifting on, 

To the scrape of restless feet; 

I can sorrow for the owners of the faces in the street. 
In hours before the dawning dims the starlight in the sky 

The wan and weary faces first begin to trickle by, 

Increasing as the moments hurry on with morning feet, 

Till like a pallid river flow the faces in the street — 

Flowing in, flowing in, 

To the beat of hurried feet — 

Ah! I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street. 
The human river dwindles when ’tis past the hour of eight, 

Its waves go flowing faster in the fear of being late; 

But slowly drag the moments, whilst beneath the dust and heat 

The city grinds the owners of the faces in the street — 

Grinding body, grinding soul, 

Yielding scarce enough to eat — 

Oh! I sorrow for the owners of the faces in the street. 
And then the only faces till the sun is sinking down 

Are those of outside toilers and the idlers of the town, 

Save here and there a face that seems a stranger in the street, 

Tells of the city’s unemployed upon his weary beat — 

Drifting round, drifting round, 

To the tread of listless feet — 

Ah! My heart aches for the owner of that sad face in the street. 
And when the hours on lagging feet have slowly dragged away, 

And sickly yellow gaslights rise to mock the going day, 

Then flowing past my window like a tide in its retreat, 

Again I see the pallid stream of faces in the street — 

Ebbing out, ebbing out, 

To the drag of tired feet, 

While my heart is aching dumbly for the faces in the street. 
And now all blurred and smirched with vice the day’s sad pages end, 

For while the short large hours' toward the longersmall hours’ trend, 

With smiles that mock the wearer, and with words that half entreat, 

Delilah pleads for custom at the corner of the street — 

Sinking down, sinking down, 

Battered wreck by tempests beat — 

A dreadful, thankless trade is hers, that Woman of the Street. 
But, ah! to dreader things than these our fair young city comes, 

For in its heart are growing thick the filthy dens and slums, 

Where human forms shall rot away in sties for swine unmeet, 

And ghostly faces shall be seen unfit for any street — 

Rotting out, rotting out, 

For the lack of air and meat — 

In dens of vice and horror that are hidden from the street. 
I wonder would the apathy of wealthy men endure 

Were all their windows level with the faces of the Poor?

Ah! Mammon’s slaves, your knees shall knock, your hearts in terror beat, 

When God demands a reason for the sorrows of the street, 

The wrong things and the bad things 

And the sad things that we meet 

In the filthy lane and alley, and the cruel, heartless street. 
I left the dreadful corner where the steps are never still,

And sought another window overlooking gorge and hill; 

But when the night came dreary with the driving rain and sleet, 

They haunted me — the shadows of those faces in the street, 

Flitting by, flitting by, 

Flitting by with noiseless feet, 

And with cheeks but little paler than the real ones in the street. 
Once I cried: `Oh, God Almighty! if Thy might doth still endure, 

Now show me in a vision for the wrongs of Earth a cure.’ 

And, lo! with shops all shuttered I beheld a city’s street, 

And in the warning distance heard the tramp of many feet, 

Coming near, coming near, 

To a drum’s dull distant beat, 

And soon I saw the army that was marching down the street. 
Then, like a swollen river that has broken bank and wall, 

The human flood came pouring with the red flags over all, 

And kindled eyes all blazing bright with revolution’s heat, 

And flashing swords reflecting rigid faces in the street. 

Pouring on, pouring on, 

To a drum’s loud threatening beat, 

And the war-hymns and the cheering of the people in the street. 
And so it must be while the world goes rolling round its course, 

The warning pen shall write in vain, the warning voice grow hoarse, 

But not until a city feels Red Revolution’s feet 

Shall its sad people miss awhile the terrors of the street — 

The dreadful everlasting strife 

For scarcely clothes and meat 

In that pent track of living death — the city’s cruel street.

Poem – A Bush Girl – Henry Lawson 

She’s milking in the rain and dark, 

As did her mother in the past. 

The wretched shed of poles and bark, 

Rent by the wind, is leaking fast. 

She sees the “home-roof” black and low, 

Where, balefully, the hut-fire gleams— 

And, like her mother, long ago, 

She has her dreams; she has her dreams. 

The daybreak haunts the dreary scene, 

The brooding ridge, the blue-grey bush, 

The “yard” where all her years have been, 

Is ankle-deep in dung and slush; 

She shivers as the hour drags on, 

Her threadbare dress of sackcloth seems— 

But, like her mother, years agone, 

She has her dreams; she has her dreams. 
The sullen “breakfast” where they cut 

The blackened “junk.” The lowering face, 

As though a crime were in the hut, 

As though a curse was on the place; 

The muttered question and reply, 

The tread that shakes the rotting beams, 

The nagging mother, thin and dry— 

God help the girl! She has her dreams. 
Then for “th’ separator” start, 

Most wretched hour in all her life, 

With “horse” and harness, dress and cart, 

No Chinaman would give his “wife”; 

Her heart is sick for light and love, 

Her face is often fair and sweet, 

And her intelligence above 

The minds of all she’s like to meet. 
She reads, by slush-lamp light, may be, 

When she has dragged her dreary round, 

And dreams of cities by the sea 

(Where butter’s up, so much the pound), 

Of different men from those she knows, 

Of shining tides and broad, bright streams; 

Of theatres and city shows, 

And her release! She has her dreams. 
Could I gain her a little rest, 

A little light, if but for one, 

I think that it would be the best 

Of any good I may have done. 

But, after all, the paths we go 

Are not so glorious as they seem, 

And—if t’will help her heart to know— 

I’ve had my dream. ’Twas but a dream.

Poem –  Having Crossed The River – Kabir 

Having crossed the river, 

where will you go, O friend? 

There’s no road to tread, 

No traveler ahead, 

Neither a beginning, nor an end. 

There’s no water, no boat, no boatman, no cord; 

No earth is there, no sky, no time, no bank, no ford. 

You have forgotten the Self within, 

Your search in the void will be in vain; 

In a moment the life will ebb 

And in this body you won’t remain. 

Be ever conscious of this, O friend, 

You’ve to immerse within your Self; 

Kabir says, salvation you won’t then need, 

For what you are, you would be indeed.