Look Out for the Engine

LOOK OUT FOR THE ENGINE WHILE THE BELL IS RINGING.

With lungs of fire, and ribs of steel,
With sighing valve, and groaning wheel,
With startling scream and giant stroke,
With showers of sparks and clouds of smoke,
The iron steel the train is bringing;
So look out while the bell is ringing!

The gazing, gaping crowd stands back —
Will ye be crushed, or clear the track?
Now, all aboard and off again!
The drones behind can’t reach the train;
They stumble where the switch is swinging —
So look out while the bell is ringing!

Just so the engine of reform
Rolls on, through sunshine and through storm,
O’er kings and sceptres, crowns and thrones,
Through sleepy crowds of idle drones;
‘Tis freedom’s song the mass are singing —
So look out while the bell is ringing!

The slave will doff his yoke and chain,
The drunkard will not drink again,
The soldier throw his sword away,
We see the dawn of that bright day;
Glad news the harnessed lightning bringing —
So look out while the bell is ringing!

Star and Banner (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Jan 19, 1849

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