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First Line: The swart smoke geni with his heart aglow
Last Line: Of him who comes behind.
Alternate Author Name(s): Surfaceman
Subject(s): Railroads; Railways; Trains

THE swart smoke geni with his heart aglow,
And all his giant strength and vigour strung,
To help our toiling lower gods below—
He still remains unsung.

I have but caught, in leaping to the side
To let him pass in smoke and thunder, dim,
Faint half-heard echoes from that rushing tide,
Of song which follows him.

But the keen years that for our coming kind,
Keep greater triumphs than to-day we claim,
Will bring a poet in whose heart the wind
Of song will leap like flame.

He, born into a richer newer time,
And with a wealthier past behind, will sing,
Our wild fire-monster blurr'd with smoke and grime,
Traffic's sole lord and king:

In music worthy of that soul of fire,
Which in him glows and leaps
Like lightnings, ere they cleave in sullen ire
Some jagged cloud that sweeps

The hills in muttered fear. My own dim song
Will fade and sink, as sinks a fitful wind,
Before the grander music, wild and strong
Of him who comes behind.

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