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Fall of Night at the Sea-shore
The bees have hummed their evening lullaby;
A cloud lies cradled near the sinking glow,
A gleam of crimson stains its braided snow.
The sea that was before an emerald green
Is now incarnadined with crimson sheen.
The seas are quiet tho' breezes softly blow
The glorious clouds now descended low
O'er the stillness of the sea beneath,
While the sun it seems a gilded sword in sheath.
So looks the sea-shore as the evening falls
Upon the ocean round and starry walls.
A Beauteous Sunset
Floating above the sea,
Shining wide and shining high
On land and sky and sea.
Heaven is lit with crimson hue
As high as eye can see,
Turning orange, violet, blue,
As bright as bright can be.
Swaying palms with kingly crowns
Bend o'er a lovely sea;
Such a calm can ne'er be found
But by a tropic sea.
When troubles cloud upon me,
Yet I shall not be lonely,
With someone by to cheer me.
When fortunes cease to flatter,
And all from me are fleeing,
Pray stay, though but a moment,
O! Stay and list my pleading.
I ask not fame nor glory,
Nor wealth nor worldly cheer,
But all I ask is someone,
Whoever may be near,
And keep me friendly company,
Each dark or sunny year.
The Five Best Doctors.
In vales, in plains and mountain top,
On towns and cities of mankind
Compare with ours, they'll over-top.
The dawn creeps out, and you behold
The golden sun shine on the greens.
Among the best of them, I'm told -
Is healthy air that roves o'er greens.
From sweet and secret springs come forth
Sparkling water - which life attends.
And day-by-day exercise comes fourth.
Then rest, on which health depends.
On these 'doctors' if you rely,
Your aches and pains they will soon mend.
But if their service you deny,
Your daily ills they'll never end.
A Visit to Sentul Railway Works
It was the rising sun, pouring its golden rays through the window, that woke me up last Saturday. I looked at the clock which showed the time was ten past seven. I quickly dressed up, breakfasted and cycled to the Sentul Railway Works. As previously arranged, a group of fifty boys from the School Certificate Classes met at the Railway Works Gate.
The party was split into two and each was placed in charge of a guide, one of the staff in the Works. I was in the first party and our guide was Mr. Kyu Pin. He told us that it would take about six hours to visit the entire Works which consisted of twenty-two sections. So, at his suggestion, we agreed to look round the interesting sections only.
The first shed was the nuts and bolts section. In former days a round piece of iron would be filed by hand but nowadays machines do the cutting and the filing. One man was in charge of one machine and altogether there were about fifteen such machines. Mr. Kyu Pin explained the machine to us and he said that it worked fifty times faster than a man could. Quite a scientific achievement! As much heat was produced by friction, every machine had a liquid cooler - Izol oil and water.
Next to the nuts and bolts section was the wheel-making shed. Here, not only new wheels were made but old ones were repaired. This section also produced rods, shafts and pistons. There was much clanging and banging; the workers appeared to pride themselves in making all that din!
The Works got its steel bars from England, which were cut up, or melted and moulded into the shape of the required articles. These articles then had to be tempered; they were heated and then plunged into acid baths to obtain various degrees of hardness.
The Sentul Railway Works, like nearly all industrial centres, had its own laboratory. Great interest was centred on the steel strength test machine, so much so that the chemist voluntarily gave us a demonstration. He placed a steel rod in a fixed cavity while he attached the top end of the rod in a vertically moveable cavity. When he started the machine the upper cavity slowly rose up exerting a strain to overcome the resistance of the steel rod fixed below. This strain or force was recorded on a disc which indicated in tons the pull on an area of one quarter square inch. The chemist warned us there would be a bang when the rod, being stretched beyond its elastic limit, snapped.
As the rod was being stretched I glanced round and caught the amusing expressions on the boys' faces; Rahman was focusing his eyes on the rod with knitted brows, Ah Chong stared with his mouth open - pity there were no frogs around - and there was Singham who was gradually retreating from the machine in expectation of that bang. However, it proved to be a mild "pop", whereupon a sigh of relief issued from the group.
Very little steel was thrown away. Unwanted steel plates were cut up into such tools as spanners and pincers. Even this cutting was mechanical; the heat produced by the burning mixture of oxygen and acetylene was enough to cut through the steel plate. Other pieces of unwanted steel were melted and cast into blocks which were hammered into the required forms.
This Railway Works deals with all the spare parts and equipment of the railway engines, trucks and coaches. Thus in the next section - the carpentry section - the wooden framework of coaches and trucks was made. Here, too, they were painted and equipped. Doors, windows and seats, not to mention bedding equipment, were produced in the carpentry section. The shed being a crowded one, it was not surprising that some of the boys took away souvenirs of the visit in the unpleasant form of paint on their shirts or shorts.
By this time we had been walking for about three hours. Though tired we cheered up when we found the next section was the overhauling shed. Here, locomotives were cleaned, oiled and all loose nuts and bolts on them tightened.
The time was a little past twelve. Mr. Kyu Pin felt we had had enough and we promptly agreed. About twenty minutes later, the second party joined us. We all thanked our guides for showing us round the interesting, instructive and industrial sections of the Sentul Railway Works - the heart of the Malayan Railways!
When I was a pupil in the Primary School, I never liked the sound of the School Bell, except when it rang at one o'clock at the close of the morning. I used to wonder why the sound of the School Bell could sound so different at the beginning of the morning and at the end. I wonder still. Perhaps someday when the bell learns to speak, then will I know.
On a cold winter's evening, I wandered alone through the streets of a little English village. The village was like one out of a story book; it was snowing a little, and people were shuffling along, clad in thick woolly big-coats, muffled ears and mittened hands, and the lights from shop-windows and houses were throwing streaks of silver on the snow lain streets. The whole village appeared a fairy town with its colourful window decorations. It was Christmas Eve. As I passed a toy shop, I heard the sound of a bell as when a gentle wind blows through a forest, ringing the icicles hanging from the pine. Then I saw it was a man dressed up as Santa Claus ringing a hand bell and announcing in a deep baritone, the offerings of Christmas toys and other presents. The sound of his bell was a sweet carol to mine ear. My heart sang in tune as I walked pass the shop towards a tiny church at the west end of the village. I could still hear the distant bell as I brushed my feet at the doorstep of the church. Then it was dead as I walked down the centre aisle and took my place amongst the congregation.
The organ played a prelude. It drowned the ringing in my heart, and the heavy drone of the bass seemed to warm my heart. I knelt to pray. The Midnight Service was on, followed by the Holy Communion. When the Padre pronounced the final "Amen", the village clock struck twelve. Almost immediately, bells began to ring. It was wonderfully sweet to hear the knell of Christmas tidings. The bells in my heart sang out even louder. The joy of Christmas morning shone from every face, and the voices wishing "Merry Christmas!" seemed to harmonise with the toll of the bells. Oh! what a sweet voice have the bells when they speak on a morn like this!
The snow had melted away, the country-side was green once more, and the sun shone gloriously in a clear blue sky. Spring had come and gone, and the roses were in full bloom. The sweet scent of summer roses came floating in the air as I walked up the narrow path to my humble cottage, on a hill not far from the village church. The crimson glow of sunset seemed to threaten to burn my little cottage, which stood against the glow. My limbs were tired, and so was my mind. But my heart was gay. Then from the church below came the solemn peal of the bell. The gaiety in its voice was dead. It struck a note of remorse in my heart and the world seemed to darken. As I stood, I saw a solemn procession trailing towards the church. Six figures in black were bearing a black object which seemed to weigh its bearers down. Their steps were slow and unsteady as they bore the casket to church. The toll of the bell continued at intervals. Its voice was sad, and the message it conveyed touched every heart.
Last update on 31 October 2000.
Contributed by: Chung Chee Min
PageKeeper: Ooi Boon Kheng