[Editor: This poem by J.M.L. was published in The Bulletin Reciter, 1901.]
Battered and worn on the wayside lay
A shoe, unseen by the busy throng
Of passers who, through the dusty way,
From morn to eve had hurried along.
The sight of that shoe to me has brought
A host of fancies, merry and sad,
Of a heart that struggled and toiled and wrought,
With never an hour of its life made glad.
Of a joyous and happy and winsome maid,
With mind all free from thought of guile ;
Of a soul with sin’s black sorrows lade,
Of a face that ne’er was lit by a smile.
Had the shoe been worn by any of these ?
Was the wearer of it young and fair ?
The answer is one, I hope, will please —
It was torn from the hoof of old Brown’s mare.
J. M. L.
A.G. Stephens (editor). The Bulletin Reciter: A Collection of Verses for Recitation from “The Bulletin” [1880-1901], The Bulletin Newspaper Company, Sydney, 1902 [first published 1901], pages 163-164