[Editor: This poem by Una Shaw was published in Birth: A Little Journal of Australian Poetry (Melbourne, Vic.), January 1922.]
A merchant came to Babylon
Ten thousand years ago,
With peacock fans and gilded bells,
And pretty maids all in a row.
And all the ladies of the court
Bought gossamers and pearls,
And all the lordlings of the court
Bought little dancing girls.
A hawker came to my back door
A week or two ago,
He did not sell me gilded bells
Or pretty maids all in a row.
He sold me gaudy handkerchiefs,
And strings of coloured beads,
And silly scraps of needlework,
That no good housewife needs.
I bought his sorry wares, because
I could not let him go
Through thinking on that traffiker
Ten thousand years ago.
— Una Shaw.
Birth: A Little Journal of Australian Poetry (Melbourne, Vic.), January 1922, p. 13