The Driver [poem by Grant Hervey]

[Editor: This poem by Grant Hervey was published in Australians Yet and Other Verses, 1913.]

The Driver

Whene’er I see a chariot go speeding near or far,
I yearn to grasp life’s lariat — to stand upon a star !
To yoke the thews and brains of things : to make a team of them ;
To ride o’er suzerains and kings — o’er throne and diadem !
I long to be the Driving One, to hold the guiding reins —
Careering on and striving on across the hills and plains !
To stand upon the decks of things : to pass the crawlers wan ;
I’d sway the heads — the necks of things, and lead Creation’s van !

A fig to loll at ease upon the cushions of the car —
I want to feel the breeze upon the highroad, rushing far!
With mighty hoofs a-thundering ; with shining wheels a-whirr,
I’d make the idlers wonder in earth’s amphitheatre !
No crawling like a jaded hearse on gradient and hill —
The day I drive the Universe, I’ll drive it with a Will!
My Team would sup right loyally when daily work was done ;
But when I DROVE ! — Ho ! loyally they’d gallop, every one !

With jaw set hard as granite is, I’d gather up the reins —
Across the ruts of vanities I’d roll with swinging chains !
My Team would know it’s Master’s voice — would answer when I called ;
It’s music sweet as Castor’s voice to parent Leda-thralled.
I’d love my Team and cherish it, if hard the hearts I drove —
Did e’er a striver perish, it would sear the One above !
The harness would be burnished right — to match the flashing car —
With wheels a-hum and furnished right I’d drive Australia !

They only fail who quaver at the thought of meeting death —
Man’s heart should grow more brave thereat, my Marching-Gospel saith :
I long to mount this Chariot and thunder over kings —
To trample each Iscariot, and slay all Judas things !
To overturn Autocracy — to break it with my wheels —
To steer thy ships, Democracy, ’mid battle’s thunder-peals !
To stand upon the Decks of Things — to boss a bolting star
To sway the heads — the necks of things :
Such My Ambitions ARE !

Grant Hervey. Australians Yet and Other Verses, Thomas C. Lothian, Melbourne, 1913, pages 54-56

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