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The Iron Horse
Across your last horizon
    And into the lonely dawn
Your smoke bedarkened silhouette
    Parades and then is gone.

We loved your gay cavorting
    And we feared your strength and roar,
We had you fetch our loved ones home
    When woe knocked at our door.
We're Silent as we watch because
    We know you'll not come back
For in your wake a diesel now
    Hums proudly down the track.

Good-bye, old clumsy giant
    With your grimy grease and smoke
Good-by, old faithful friend of man,
    From us old fashioned folk.
Gone is your friendly whistle
    From the lonely sleepless night,
Gone is your growl and chatter,
    Pulling trains with all your might.

The hand upon your throttle
    Built a nation, made it bold,
Won its wars and fed its children
    And was good to young and old.
Gone is your steam unfolding
    Into clouds above the train
Tinged red in winter's sunset
    As you fled across the plain.

- Tom of Turkey Valley

Reprinted from Arch Ward's
"In the Wake of the News"
column of the Chicago Trubune

Steam-Engine Whistle
Listen, my Grandson -- just
    beyond the hill
It lifts its lonesome voice and
    wails once more,
A sound with heartbreak in it,
    tired and shrill;
A sound a million boys have
    heard before,
And in the nighttime they
    have raised their heads
Just as you're doing now, and
    felt a strange
Wonder catch hold of them
    in their safe beds,
Till the sound sped far off and
    out of range.
It was a sound to part the
    buffalo grass
Long years ago; a sound with
    history in it.
Baltimore, Kansas City,
    Donner Pass . . . .
Listen, my grandson, listen for
    a minute,
And then remember always, if
    you can.
It will be gone forever, when
    you're a man.
- Ladies Home Journal

Constructed, Maintained, and © by Ron Kohlin of Niceville, Florida, USA
Last updated on August 6, 2002.
Send E-mail to " Ron at Kohlin dot com "