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KING OF THE RAIL.

BY LA TOUCHE HANCOCK.

Panting and snorting, quite ready to start,
Human almost in the beats of its heart,
Chafing, impatient at any delay,
A clang of the bell, and slowly - away!
Down at each crossing they lower the bars,
Warning the reckless, "Look out for the cars!"
Open the throttle a little more still,
Curb the steel giant's impetuous will.
Just for a moment the speed must be slow,
Gradually out in the country we go.
Give her her head now, but with a firm hand
Keep the rash monster well under command.
Here on a perfectly level, clear track,
Sparks are thrown out from the fuming smoke-stack.
Faster and faster, by green lights and white,
Now let her go with the power of her flight!
Dashing through meadows, through fen, and through brake;
Rushing by streamlet, by river, by lake;
Leaving the mile-posts behind, one by one;
Making a record that's never been run!
Racing through sunshine that gleams golden bright;
Pacing through darkness and shadows of night!
Curb her a little when crossing the bridge,
Slow just a trifle till safe o'er the ridge!
Then on, on again, with courage once more!
Hear her reply with a spurt and a roar;
Whizzing and hissing, leaping and springing,
Grumbling and struggling, writhing and wringing,
Shaking and quaking, rocking and swaying,
The Overland Mail brooks no delaying!
Steaming and rumbling, bounding and bumping,
Dashing and flashing, jerking and jumping,
Down mountain gorges and through forests deep,
Whirling 'round lakes with a swish and a sweep,
Routing the echoes that mocking resound,
See how the monster can cover the ground!
Freighted with happiness, freighted with tears,
Freighted with confidence, freighted with fears,
Look how it rumbles and roars into sight,
An emblem of strength, a picture of might!
Sovereign so powerful, what can avail
With thee in ascendent -- King of the Rail!

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