Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

(7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)

Farewell Cable Tram - Poem by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Now a sad farewell to the cable-tram,
Staunch friend of the quieter days,
That glided down thro' a leisured town
Ere the urge for speed was a craze.
We'd time to spare and we took the air
On a sociable seat outside
Calm charioteers of those peaceful years
When 'the trams' were a city's pride.

Clash! Clang! The twin bells rang,
And the grip went smoothly in.
Then we floated along to a muted song
And a dearth of hustle and din.
Untouched by the need for racketting speed
That frazzles the moderns' nerves,
Scarce heeding at all the warning call:
'Sit tight! Hold on at the curve!'
Unhurried, serene, we viewed the scene,
Or chatted with Charlie or Sam.
Oh, in spite of the rage of a jazz-mad age,
I'm still for the cable-tram, I am,
The jolly old cable-tram.

But they're rooting them out, the cable-trams,
Like all earth's pleasanter things;
To oblivion brought by a Juggernaut
That needs no leading strings
And they'll serve when dead, for a shelter shed
By some shrill suburban road.
Or a garden 'nook,' unbelievably crook,
At a philistine's abode.

Clash! Clang! . . . How the breezes sang
On a sunny Sabbath Day.
And away we go with Fanny or Flo
For a tram trip down the Bay.
'What O! There's class!' Proud ponies pass
With their shining jinkers there,
And joy's complete, we've a front-row seat,
And the sea-wind's in our hair.
And never a car snorts by to mar
That peace with its swank and sham.
You may keep your noise and your clattering toys!
I'm for the cable-tram, I am!
Idyllic old cable-tram.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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