Lord, Thou hast made this world below the shadow of a dream,
An', taught by time, I tak' it so -- exceptin' always Steam.
From coupler-flange to spindle-guide I see Thy Hand, O God --
Predestination in the stride o' yon connectin'-rod.
John Calvin might ha' forged the same -- enorrmous, certain, slow --
Ay, wrought it in the furnace-flame -- ~my~ "Institutio".
I cannot get my sleep to-night; old bones are hard to please;
I'll stand the middle watch up here -- alone wi' God an' these
My engines, after ninety days o' race an' rack an' strain
Through all the seas of all Thy world, slam-bangin' home again.
Slam-bang too much -- they knock a wee -- the crosshead-gibs are loose;