Ambrose Bierce

(24 June 1842 - 26 December 1913 / Horse Cave Creek, Ohio)

A Promised Fast Train - Poem by Ambrose Bierce

I turned my eyes upon the Future's scroll
And saw its pictured prophecies unroll.

I saw that magical life-laden train
Flash its long glories o'er Nebraska's plain.

I saw it smoothly up the mountain glide.
'O happy, happy passengers!' I cried.

For Pleasure, singing, drowned the engine's roar,
And Hope on joyous pinions flew before.

Then dived the train adown the sunset slope-
Pleasure was silent and unseen was Hope.

Crashes and shrieks attested the decay
That greed had wrought upon that iron way.

The rusted rails broke down the rotting ties,
And clouds of flying spikes obscured the skies.

My coward eyes I drew away, distressed,
And fixed them on the terminus to-West,

Where soon, its melancholy tale to tell,
One bloody car-wheel wabbled in and fell!


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, September 29, 2012



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