The Iron Steed

A Poem by Ernest James

Along we rush with a perilous speed,
And over the points we bound
Hurrah ! hurrah ! for our iron steed,
As it flings the fire-sparks round ;
As it bravely pants and proudly breathes,
And tosses about its vapour-wreaths.

Onward it goes with a fearless sweep,
But strong are its whirling wheels ;
Away, away, by the mountain steep,
Till its massive burden reels ;
A giant that will not flag or tire,
With its breath of stem and lungs of fire.

Away it flies by village and moor,
By many a quiet town,
From every bridge, with a startling roar,
How it hurls its thunder down !
By rivers and meadows, and placid streams,
It flies, and into the tunnel screams.

Aloft it scatters its fiery trails,
Like lightning its pulses beat ;
In sweltering noons, through furious gales,
We can hear its iron feet ;
Along the gorge, or wherever it be,
Deep in the city, or fronting the sea.

Hurrah ! for our courser, fleet and strong,
In its daring race with time :
It thrills the blood as it leaps along,
With a mighty step sublime ;
And the world its power and service claims
In return for its ravenous feast of flames !


Published in the Maitland Mercury 3 August 1872 p. 5.
The Maitland Mercury Saturday 3 August 1872

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