(THE Editor of the Motor News does not endorse the sentiments of his contributors.)

I want to find some place on earth

Where motors are unknown,

Where hydroplane ne’re skims the main,

Nor aeroplane’s been flown.

High on some heather mountain,

Beside some hidden stream,

From noise and speed forever freed,

I’ll lay me down and dream.

I’ll dream I hear the reapers as they sing among the sheaves,

And the woodquest softly cooing ‘mid the rustling of the leaves.

The wind among the rushes, the rippling of the stream,

Will come to me again and be the burden of my dream.

When all the world on hydroplanes!

Is rushing through the waves,

And sirens wake the echoes

Of the seal’s remotest caves,

When men rise off the waters

And go whizzing through the air,

Till the frigate bird who followed them,

Gives up in sheer despair.

I’ll dream of summer mornings when the day had just begun,

And the ships went slowly sailing up the pathway of the sun,

And the mellow tops’l chanty came floating back to me

From those dear old “water bruisers” as they drifted out to sea.

When all the world is flying past!

In bi- and monoplanes,

And not a region unexplored

From pole to pole remains.

When they’re whizzing past our windows,

And round our chimney pots,

And raining oil and petrol on

Our little garden plots.

I’ll dream of peaceful evenings when the crows came slowly home,

And the bumble bees sang harmonies around the honeycomb.

When the flittermice flew silently along the forest glade,

And from the vale the nightingale sighed forth its serenade.

And now to find that hallowed spot afar from human ken,

Where, haply, motor cars are not, nor aeroplaning men.

And there upon that distant hill, while stars their watches keep,

I’ll dream the earth is standing still and everyone’s asleep.

(By kind permission of the Editors of the Irish Cyclist and Motor news.)


French, Percy. (1980) ‘Prose, Poems & Parodies.’  Dublin, Helicon Limited