Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ROUNDHOUSE, by WILLIAM ROSE BENET



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THE ROUNDHOUSE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Rembrandt alone could paint this mammoth shed
Last Line: Bound by a schedule to the clamoring hour!
Subject(s): Railroads; Railways; Trains


Rembrandt alone could paint this mammoth shed
Filled with weird hissing like some hydra's lair,
Where thick smoke eddies through the sunless air
And webs of steel curve upward overhead.
These floors run burning oils. These fires are fed
From pits of Tartarus. Against the glare
High-shouldered, coal-black gryphons crouch and stare.
Their heavy panting wakes a sense of dread.

Yet stranger far, the human ants in hordes
Who swarm like imps in some infernal masque,
Seeming to guide each awful shape of power
As th' elemental spirits' potent lords, --
Yet only toiling at their common task,
Bound by a schedule to the clamoring hour!





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