Making the Grade

A Poem by J.E. Chrisman©J.E. Chrisman 1918

Double-headed, heavy sledder,
Coming up the hill.
Superheaters, tonnage-eaters,
Surely got their fill.
"Six eleven," "Four-O-Seven"
Twenty hundred ton.
Going to make her? Have to shake her!
Let her have the gun! (Injector.)

Smoke a boiling, fireboys toiling,
Shacks a riding high,
Wheels a grinding, flanges binding,
Barely oozing by.
Hogger flail her! Don't you fail her!
Make her pound her ear!
They'll nab us, Hog Law grab us-
Dare not stall her here!

Now, she's drumming, got her coming,
Getting near the top,
Fireman stoke her! Don't you choke her!
Make her safety pop!
Cinders raining, drawbars straining,
'Fraid we'll pull a lung,
Lots of trouble, had to double,
If they hadn't hung!

Wheels a clicking, brakes a sticking
Fortv miles an hour;
Tallows resting, shacks' a jesting,
Clear board at the tower.
Markers streaming, whistle screaming!
Going fit to kill!
Crummie's coming, con's a humming,
Coming down the hill!


From The Footplate, 21 May 1918.

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