Accident articles Recent reports, news and views on rail accidents and safety Free email account Free eCards Newsletter Bulletin Board E-mail Danger Ahead! Search Danger Ahead!; RailServe & the Web Help
Danger Ahead! SignalPost Mail    
Free email account        
Night Mail . . . by W.H.Auden

This is the night mail crossing the border,
Bringing the cheque and the postal order,
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner and the girl next door.
Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb -
The gradient's against her, but she's on time.

Past cotton grass and moorland boulder
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder,
Snorting noisily as she passes
Silent miles of wind-bent grasses.

Birds turn their heads as she approaches,
Stare from the bushes at her black-faced coaches.
Sheep-dogs cannot turn her course,
They slumber on with paws across.
In the farm she passes no one wakes,
But a jug in the bedroom gently shakes.

Dawn freshens, the climb is done.
Down towards Glasgow she descends
Towards the steam rugs yelping
    down the glade of cranes,
Towards the fields of apparatus, the furnaces
Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen.
All Scotland waits for her:
In the dark glens, beside the pale-green lochs
Men long for news.

Letters of thanks, letters from banks,
Letters of joy from girl and boy,
Receipted bills and invitations
To inspect new stock or visit relations,
And applications for situations
And timid lovers' declarations
And gossip, gossip from all the nations,
News circumstantial, news financial,
Letters with holiday snaps to enlarge in,
Letters with faces scrawled in the margin,
Letters from uncles, cousins, and aunts,
Letters to Scotland from the South of France,
Letters of condolence to Highlands and Lowlands
Notes from overseas to Hebrides -

Written on paper of every hue,
The pink, the violet, the white and the blue,
The chatty, the catty, the boring, adoring,
The cold and official and the heart outpouring,
Clever, stupid, short and long,
The typed and printed and the spelt all wrong.

Thousands are still asleep
Dreaming of terrifying monsters,
Or of friendly tea beside the band
    at Cranston's or Crawford's,
Asleep in working Glasgow, asleep
    in well-set Edinburgh,
Asleep in granite Aberdeen,
They continue their dreams;
And shall wake soon and long for letters,
And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart,
For who can hear and fell himself forgotten?

Get your free email accountSet your email FREE with Signal Post Mail
  • FREE web-based email account
  • FREE your own unique email address -
  • FREE read your mail from any computer connected to the web
  • FREE support for ten languages with more on the way
  • FREE support for attachments, HTML . . .
  • FREE also access to your POP mail inboxes anywhere

 Sign Up with signalpost Mail
Sign up for your own FREE Signalpost Mail web-based email account
 First Name:  Last Name:  
 Login to signalpost mail
 User Name:  Password:  
Technical Support Help Password Reminder
signalpost contact:

SignalPost Mail is available in 10 languages
More Languages

Get your Own E-Mail service

Top Nothing Home   Accidents   Features     7 Days   Gallery   Bookshop   SignalPost Mail   Newsletter   Postcards   Guestbook   Forum   Links   Map   Search   Contact

This file last updated: Saturday, 26-Feb-2000 19:08:09 EST
Copyright © David Fry 1999