Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CATTLE TRAIN, by HARRY HIBBARD KEMP

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THE CATTLE TRAIN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: They drive the helpless cattle in
Last Line: At forty miles an hour.
Subject(s): Cattle; Railroads; Railways; Trains

THEY drive the helpless cattle in
With oaths and cries and blows ...
The train draws eastward while the dusk
Is all a dying rose.

Behind, our little waycar rides,
Twin-lighted, while ahead
The engine fires the gulfing gloom
With burst on burst of red.

Strange is the cargo that we bear:
We've gleaned from pen and byre
Leg-sprawling calfs and huddled sheep
And swine that reek of mire,

Wild, frightened steers from Western plains,
That bellow, push, and lower—
A Stockyard leaping through the night
At forty miles an hour.

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