William Ernest Henley

We Flash Across The Level

William Ernest Henley was an English poet, critic and editor, best remembered for his 1875 poem "Invictus".






We flash across the level.
We thunder thro' the bridges.
We bicker down the cuttings.
We sway along the ridges.

A rush of streaming hedges,
Of jostling lights and shadows,
Of hurtling, hurrying stations,
Of racing woods and meadows.

We charge the tunnels headlong -
The blackness roars and shatters.
We crash between embankments -
The open spins and scatters.

We shake off the miles like water,
We might carry a royal ransom;
And I think of her waiting, waiting,
And long for a common hansom.

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