Railways 1846

The Cornwall Chronicle Wednesday 5 July 1865 p.2

'No poetry in Railway!' foolish thought
Of a dull brain, to no fine music wrought.
By mammon dazzled, though the people prize
The gold alone, yet shall we not despise
The triumphs of our time, or fail to see
Of pregnant mind and fruitful progeny
Ushering the daylight of the world's new morn.
Look up, ye doubters, be no more forlorn!–
Smooth your rough brows, ye little wise: rejoice,
Ye who despond: and with exulting voice
Salute, ye earnest spirits of our time,
The young Improvement ripening to her prime,
Who, in the fulness of her genial youth,
Prepares the way for Liberty and Truth,
And breaks the barriers that, since the earth began,
Have made mankind the enemy of man.

Lay down your rails, ye nations, near and far–
Yoke jour full trains to Steam's triumphal car;
Link town to town; and in these iron bands
Unite the strange and oft-embattled lands

Peace and improvement round each train shall soar,
And knowledge light the ignorance of yore;—
Men joined in amity, shall wonder long
That state had power to lead their fathers wrong ;
Or that false glory lured their hearts astray,
And made it virtuous and sublime to slay.

Blessings on Science, and her handmaid Steam!
They make Utopia only half a dream:
And show the fervent, of capacious souls,
Who watch the ball of Progress as it rolls,
That all as yet completed, or begun,
Is but the dawning that precedes the sun.


Only a part of this poem was quoted in the Tasmanian newspaper the Cornwall Chronicle.
It was written by Charles Mackay, son of a navvy who became a successful journalist in England

No comments: