Christopher Pearse Cranch

(1815-1892 / the USA)

Sonnet Xiii. The Locomotive. - Poem by Christopher Pearse Cranch

Whirling along its living freight, it came,
Hot, panting, fierce, yet docile to command-
The roaring monster, blazing through the land
Athwart the night, with crest of smoke and flame;
Like those weird bulls Medea learned to tame
By sorcery, yoked to plough the Colchian strand
In forced obedience under Jason's hand.
Yet modern skill outstripped this antique fame,
When o'er our plains and through the rocky bar
Of hills it pushed its ever-lengthening line
Of iron roads, with gain far more divine
Than when the daring Argonauts from far
Came for the golden fleece, which like a star
Hung clouded in the dragon-guarded shrine.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 24, 2010



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