The Machines of Today

Image from DIESELPUNKS

A SIGH OR REGRET

By JAMES J. MONTAGUE

I see a sleek gasoline engine
Careering along to a blaze;
It’s efficient, no doubt,
But no steam does it spout
As it speeds on its glorious ways.
It lacks the old bright shining boiler
And the smoke that shoots out of the stack,
And it doesn’t careen
Like the good old machine
That was here half a dozen years back.

Ah! That was the grand age of fires;
The whistle would sputter and scream,
While the folks of that day
Fled madly away
From the fountains of cinders and steam.
The galloping clang of the horses,
The beat of their feet as they sped,
And the volume of sound
That was broadcast around
Might almost awaken the dead.

The machine of today may be faster,
Their deafening sirens ring shrill,
It’s a joy to the eye
To observe them go by.
Their perilous task to fulfill,
But my pet was the raring old steamer
With its smoke and its clamor and roar,
And I’m sad in my heart
That it won’t play a part
In the life of the town any more.

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Jul 21, 1934

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