'Drew The Wrong Lever!' - Poem by Alexander Anderson
This was what the pointsman said,
With both hands at his throbbing head:—
'I drew the wrong lever standing here
And the danger signals stood at clear;
'But before I could draw it back again
On came the fast express, and then—
'There came a roar and a crash that shook
This cabin-floor, but I could not look
'At the wreck, for I knew the dead would peer
With strange dull eyes at their murderer here.'
'Drew the wrong lever?' 'Yes, I say!
Go, tell my wife, and—take me away!'
That was what the pointsman said,
With both hands at his throbbing head.
O ye of this nineteenth century time,
Who hold low dividends as a crime,
Listen. So long as a twelve-hours' strain
Rests like a load of lead on the brain,
With its ringing of bells and rolling of wheels,
Drawing of levers until one feels
The hands grow numb with a nerveless touch,
And the handles shake and slip in the clutch,
So long will ye have pointsmen to say—
'Drew the wrong lever! take me away!'
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