Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PACIFIC RAILWAY, by C. R. BALLARD

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THE PACIFIC RAILWAY, by            
First Line: Tis done - the wondrous thorough-fare
Last Line: And nations shall learn war no more.
Subject(s): Railroads; United States - History; Railways; Trains

FINISHED, MAY 10, 1'69

"And a Highway shall there be."

'T IS "Done" -- the wondrous thoroughfare
Type of that Highway all divine!
No ancient wonder can compare
With this, in grandeur of design.
For, 't was no visionary scheme
To immortalize the builder's name;
No impulse rash, no transient dream
Of some mere worshipper of Fame.

Rare common sense conceived the plan,
For working out a lasting good --
The full development of Man;
The growth of human brotherhood!
And lo! by patient toil and care,
The work with rare success is crowned;
And nations, yet to be, will share
In blessings that shall e'er abound.

Across a continent's expanse,
The lengthening track now runs secure,
O'er which the Iron Horse shall prance,
So long as earth and time endure!
His course extends from East to West --
From where Atlantic billows roar,
To where the quiet waters rest,
Beside the far Pacific shore.

Proud commerce, by Atlantic gales
Tossed to and fro, -- her canvas rent --
Will gladly furl her wearied sails,
And glide across a continent.
Through smiling valleys, broad and free,
O'er rivers wide, or mountain-crest,
Her course shall swift and peaceful be,
Till she has reached the farthest West.

And e'en the treasures of the East,
Diverted from their wonted track, --
With safety gained, with speed increased, --
Will follow in her footsteps back.
And thus the Nations, greatly blest,
Will share another triumph, won,
That links yet closer East and West --
The rising and the setting sun!

This glorious day with joy we greet!
May Faith abound, may Love increase,
And may this highway, now complete,
Be the glad harbinger of Peace!
God bless the Work, that it may prove
The source of greater good in store,
When Man shall heed the law of Love,
And Nations shall learn war no more.

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