Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TERMINALS, by BERTON BRALEY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

TERMINALS, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: A railroad station at the city's heart
Last Line: Romance to every wharf at which they swing.
Subject(s): Railroad Stations; Trade; Travel; Journeys; Trips

A railroad station at the city's heart
Seems somehow like Romance come down to trade,
Offering her adventures ready made
According to the prices on the chart.

The passengers arrive, and they depart
At scheduled hours; the proper fare is paid,
So many miles—so much. The course is laid
With cold and calm precision from the start.

The magic of far journeyings is there
But lost in all the scuffle of the feet,
The clatter of the telegraph, the blare
Of train announcers' voices that repeat
Long lists of cities. Who could be endowed
With visions of Romance in such a crowd?

But at a wharf where cargo ships are tied,
Where stores of coffee, sugar, spices, tea,
Bring savor of the lands far oversea
There is a spell of rolling waters wide.

Here swings a ship with rusty, battered side
That came from Spain. To-morrow she may be
Off for the Indies. That one casting free
Sails, and has sailed, wherever ships may ride.

There is no straight and settled track they take
No moment fixed when they shall leave a strand,
They make whatever port is theirs to make
And sail whenever trade and tide command.
They are the true tramps royal, and they bring
Romance to every wharf at which they swing.

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