Friday, 5 October 2012

Night Mail to Scotland

"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, 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, she passes
Silent miles of wind-bent grasses.
Birds turn their heads as she approaches,
Stare from the bushes at her blank-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.

Extract from Night Mail  W. H. Auden
written for the GPO Film Unit documentary "Night Mail" 1936


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