The Motor-Lorries

Original Text: 
John Swinnerton Phillimore, Things New and Old (London: Humphrey Milford, 1918): 79. Widener Library, Harvard University
1They're coming -- twenty or thirty, an outspun throng
2    Of grey machines, none hard on the other's heels.
3    You hold your breath till all are past: it feels
4As if the gathering loudness, lunged along,
5And then the diminuendo thundersong
6    Of each grey bulk on elephantine wheels
7    Were sobs of one great heart, gaspèd appeals
8By irresistible iteration strong;
9-- Or piston-strokes whose rhythm obeys the pulse
10    Of some Necessity-made-visible,
11        Some grimly lustrous engine, errorless,
12Inhuman. Six and thirty! They convulse
13    The countryside ... Is this an interval?
14        Or is it the end? O aching emptiness!
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: