Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE HOME EXPRESS, by HORACE SPENCER FISKE



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE HOME EXPRESS, by            
First Line: When the city's rush is over, and the monthly ticket shown
Last Line: In the twilight and the moonlight just begun!
Subject(s): Homecoming; Railroad Stations; Railroads; Travel; Railways; Trains; Journeys; Trips


Bless me! this is pleasant,
Riding on a rail!
JOHN A. SAXE.

WHEN the city's rush is over, and the monthly ticket shown,
And the platform's crowd has scattered like the leaves in autumn blown,
Then the engine feels the throttle, as the racer feels the whip,
And sends its drivers whirling for its little homeward trip.

Oh, the home train and its quiver, and its shoot along the lake,
And its gladness that the day is nearly done;
And the tumbling of the wave crests as they flash and swiftly break
In the last, low, level shining of the sun!

The clean-cut man of business eyes his fresh-bought paper close,
Culling out the world's wide doings from the padded news verbose;
And the bargain hunter, sated, sits ensconced amid her gains,
Complacent o'er the patent fact of her superior brains.

The trainman punches tickets with his swift and easy air,
Like the man that knows his business of getting every fare;
And he calls the Hyde Park station in the strong familiar ring
As he inward thrusts his body through the car door's sudden swing.

Meanwhile the conversation of the women from the clubs
Increases with the train speed and the whirling of the hubs;
And the latest sociology or Kipling's virile verse,
Or city art and garbage their gossip intersperse.

And the judge of human nature, as he notes their faces fair,
Knows these are they whose strenuous wills can strongly do and dare;
And his inner eye sees visions of immortal Art's wide sway
And clear-eyed Science gazing on a fairer, sweeter day.

So the city's strong-faced thousands spin adown the steel-set bed,
With the two red signals rearward and the yellow on ahead;
Till the engine feels the throttle 'neath the station's glittering light,
And gladdens waiting home-hearts at the gathering of the night.

Oh, the home train and its quiver, and its shoot along the lake,
And its gladness that the day is fairly done;
And the tumbling of the wave crests as they flash and swiftly break
In the twilight and the moonlight just begun!





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