Saltbush Bill and other Verses

Lay of the Motor-Car

Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson

WE’RE away! and the wind whistles shrewd
    In our whiskers and teeth;
And the granite-like grey of the road
    Seems to slide underneath.
As an eagle might sweep through the sky.
    So we sweep through the land;
And the pallid pedestrians fly
    When they hear us at hand.

We outpace, we outlast, we outstrip!
    Not the fast-fleeing hare,
Nor the racehorses under the whip,
    Nor the birds of the air
Can compete with our swiftness sublime.
    Our ease and our grace.
We annihilate chickens and time
    And policemen and space.

Do you mind that fat grocer who crossed?
    How he dropped down to pray
In the road when he saw he was lost;
    How he melted away
Underneath, and there rang through the fog
    His earsplitting squeal
As he went—Is that he or a dog,
    That stuff on the wheel?

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