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1 0

THEE for my recitative,

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Thee in the driving storm even as now, the snow, the winter-day declining,

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Thee in thy panoply, thy measurd dual throbbing and thy beat convulsive,

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Thy black cylindric body, golden brass and silvery steel,

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Thy ponderous side-bars, parallel and connecting rods, gyrating, shuttling at thy sides,

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Thy metrical, now swelling pant and roar, now tapering in the distance,

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Thy great protruding head-light fixd in front,

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Thy long, pale, floating vapor-pennants, tinged with delicate purple,

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The dense and murky clouds out-belching from thy smoke-stack,

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Thy knitted frame, thy springs and valves, the tremulous twinkle of thy wheels,

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Thy train of cars behind, obedient, merrily following,

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Through gale or calm, now swift, now slack, yet steadily careering;

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Type of the modern—emblem of motion and power—pulse of the continent,

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For once come serve the Muse and merge in verse, even as here I see thee,

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With storm and buffeting gusts of wind and falling snow,

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By day thy warning ringing bell to sound its notes,

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By night thy silent signal lamps to swing.

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19 0

Fierce-throated beauty!

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Roll through my chant with all thy lawless music, thy swinging lamps at night,

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Thy madly-whistled laughter, echoing, rumbling like an earth-quake, rousing all,

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Law of thyself complete, thine own track firmly holding,

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(No sweetness debonair of tearful harp or glib piano thine,)

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Thy trills of shrieks by rocks and hills returnd,

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Launchd oer the prairies wide, across the lakes,

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To the free skies unpent and glad and strong.