The third stanza relates to what the women of the town, as he “glides on through town.” The use of the word “glide” in essence expresses the shortness of his trip through the town, moving on with much haste from the workers in the sawmills. As a result we can see that the speaker wishes to have no business in the town, and he seeks a quick departure. The speaker describes the houses to be wearing “verandahs out of shyness,” once again explaining the simple and modest existence of the town, as if the verandahs were to cover up the modest house’s which lay behind them.
It seems as if the women of the town lead a very boring and monotonous life where not much happens, in “calendared kitchens,” they hope that they hear the cry of even a lost child, as that would be far more eventful than anything that happens around there. “a cry from the mill, a footstep-,” the speaker suddenly stops after the footstep and moves on to “nothing happens.” Footsteps signifying the extent of simplicity by which the women in this sawmill town live their lives.
“Or a plain young wife… will turn around and gaze at the mountains in wonderment, looking for a city.” Murray here introduces the idea that the people of this town seek a better place. What the speaker observes in this stanza, which is the emotion and presence of the women in the town, shows us that life in these sawmill towns is far from exciting, or eventful. And in the conclusion of this stanza he portrays to us the want for the people of this town to seek escape from it, finding a better place.
Come stanza 4 and the speaker starts by saying that the “Evenings are very quiet;” But only in the previous stanza did he explain how quiet the lives of the women actually were. Is it evening all the time for these women, in these “calendared kitchens?” You’d think not considering the choice of describing the kitchens as being, “calendared,” meaning they would have a sense of time. Even the house’s are stuck in this rut of nothingness that they “watch each other”, so much so as a light “going out in a window here has meaning.”
The speaker at the beginning arrived in the town driving “without haste,” but by stanza 4 he “speeds away through the upland.” It is in great contrast to that of his driving at the beginning, as if he had seen enough and it is best that he not return, speeding away. Murray goes on to describe the town how it is in the different seasons, perhaps suggesting that the driver tries to find some quality in the town by looking at it as it may be in the summer, or the winter.
He ends the poem by describing the men “rolling a dead match” between their fingers and of them thinking of the future. The dead match may be a symbol for the town. It was once alight but it is now dead, and is left rolling between the fingers of a superior being, much like the speaker, “rolling” the town between his fingers. They sit there thinking of the future, and it seems that it is one which is monotonous and one where change is not imminent.
Murray’s poem describes vividly the journey of this man into a town unknown to him. He arrives driving without haste, but leaves speeding away. What he observes in the town is something that he is quite detached from, never leaving his vehicle, and what he witnesses is quite inferior to that of what he is used to. This poem depicts the main aspects of a sawmill town, but this through the eyes of what seems to be someone from a city area, alien to such an existence. We learn a lot about the driver through his observations, and much about his actual perception of the town itself. Much of what he describes was not actually witnessed by him, but are mere presumptions, such as the existence of the women.