The Passing Railway Train.

Poesy is creation ; whoso planned1
Railways—the mighty veins and arteries,2
And telegraphic wires, the nerves of nations,3
And fiery engines rushing o’er the land4
Swifter than flight, or ploughing through the seas5
’Gainst wind, and tide, and elemental strife ;6
Promethean spirits conquering time and space,7
And quickening all the pulses of their race8
Throughout one vast organic globe of life,9
Made rich by them with wonderful creations,10
Such as the opiate fancy never dreamed,11
Even in Araby—poets should be deemed,12
If any should ; for poetry is ‘ making ’13
As well as writing—to be seen no less than said.14
Lo ! here is poetry—the Railway Train !15
First the shrill whistle, then the distant roar,16
The ascending cloud of steam, the gleaming brass,17
The mighty moving arm ; and on amain18
The mass comes thundering like an avalanche o’er19
The quaking earth ; a thousand faces pass20
A moment, and are gone like whirlwind sprites,21
Scarce seen ; so much the roaring speed benights22
All sense and recognition for a while ;23
A little space, a minute, and a mile.24
Then look again, how swift it journeys on25
Away, away, along the horizon26
Like drifted cloud, to its determined place ;27
Power, speed, and distance, melting into space.28