The Railway

The Courier Saturday 1 March 1851 p.3


The silent glen, the sunless stream,
To wandering boyhood dear,    
And treasured still in many a dream,
They are no longer here
A huge red mound of earth is thrown,
Across the glen so wild and lone,
The stream so cold and clear;
And lightning speed and thundering sound
Pass hourly o'er the unsightly mound.

Nor this alone—for many a mile
Along that iron way,
No verdant banks or hedgerows smile
In summer's glory gay ;
Thro' chasms that yawn as though the earth
Were rent in some strange mountain-birth,
Whose depth excludes the day,
We're borne away at headlong pace,
To win from time the wearying race !

The wayside inn, with homelike air,
No longer tempts a guest
To taste its unpretending fare,
Or seek its welcome rest ;
The prancing team—the merry horn—  
The cool fresh road at early morn—
The coachman's ready jest ;  
All, all to distant dream-land come,
While shrieking trains are hurrying on.

Yet greet we them with thankful hearts,
And eyes that own no tear ;
'Tis nothing now the space which parts
The distant from the dear ;
The wing that to her cherish'd nest
Bears home the bird's exulting breast,
Has found its rival here.
With speed like hers he too can haste.
The bliss of meeting hearts to taste.

For me, I gaze along the line
To watch the approaching train,
And deem it still, 'twixt me and mine,
A rude, but welcome chain
To bind us in a world, whose ties
Each passing hour to sever tries
But here may try in vain ;
To bring us near home many an art
Stern fate employs to keep apart.

–Dublin University Magazine.

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