All Legendary Obstacles

All Legendary Obstacles by John Montague is a popular poem about a man nervously waiting at a train station for his lover to arrive.

Ireland’s 100 favourite poems

The poem ends happily with the two heading off into the night hand in hand.

All Legendary Obstacles by John Montague. Image copyright Ireland Calling

All Legendary Obstacles

All legendary obstacles lay between
Us, the long imaginary plain,
The monstrous ruck of mountains
And, swinging across the night,
Flooding the Sacramento, San Joaquin,
The hissing drift of winter rain.

All day I waited, shifting
Nervously from station to bar
As I saw another train sail
By, the San Francisco Chief or
Golden Gate, water dripping
From great flanged wheels.

At midnight you came, pale
Above the negro porter’s lamp.
I was too blind with rain
And doubt to speak, but
Reached from the platform
Until our chilled hands met.

You had been travelling for days
With an old lady, who marked
A neat circle on the glass
With her glove, to watch us
Move into the wet darkness
Kissing, still unable to speak.

All Legendary Obstacles by John Montague. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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Ireland’s 100 favourite poems

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