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My Friend.
Words and Music.

Bullock Cart

My Friend is a narrative poem written by Lionel Gregory in honour of his first great boyhood adventures as a co-driver on a bullock cart that happened to visit his family's house in the Nilgiri Hills, India.

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My Friend, we have met a thousand times,
And your image comes vividly to my mind.
With unaltering pace, patience personified,
You journey on content and I am left behind.

The creaking of your cart, the bumps, the grinding wheels,
The rhythmic footfalls of your bulls portend
The tenor of an endless way,
Beneath your gentle hand my lonely friend.

My Friend, hark to the modern chase,
And its message demanding you give way
In homage before the mood of passing time,
And end the thousand years that went before today.

The blinding scourge of dust from traffic roaring by,
Provokes your anger, wins a kindly smile,
Comforting your bulls, now briskly coaxing,
You journey on forgiving, for yet another mile.

My Friend, when heart and limbs are tired,
And your hopes lie still within your breast,
Lay aside your reins, and put your trust in God,
And ask of Him the blessing of some rest?

The hurricane lamp swings, and gently beckons still,
Symbol of comfort, of hope, and of light,
Scatter your doubts and fears forever,
Forever shining brightly through the night.

My Friend, it is time to say farewell,
We shall meet again but parting I confess,
Of all the things you see and others miss,
I treasure most your memory, timelessness.

Lionel Gregory may be contacted at 1 Lennox Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH4 1QB or by e-mail.

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Last changed
1st March 2000.