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The Old Turnpike (A Poem)

Milestones Vol 33 No. 2


We hear no more the clanking hoof,
And the stagecoach rattling by;
For the steam-king rules the traveled world,
And the old pike's left to die.
The grass creeps o'er the flinty path,
And the stealthy daisies steal
Where once the stage-horse, day by day,
Lifted his iron heel.

No more the weary stager dreads
The toil of the coming morn;
No longer the bustling landlord runs
At the sound of the echoing horn;
For the dust lies still upon the road,
And bright-eyed children play
Where once the clattering hoof and wheel
Rattled along the way.

No more we hear the crackin, whip,
Or the strong wheel's rumbling sound;
And ah! The water drives us on,
And an iron horse is found!
The coach stands rusting in the yard,
And the horse had sought the plough
We have spanned the world with an iron rail,
And the steam-king rules us now!

The old turnpike is a pike no more,
Wide open stands the gate;
We have made us a road for our horses to stride,
Which we ride at a flying rate;
We have filled the valleys and leveled the hills,
And tunneled the mountain side;
And round the rough crag's dizzy verge
Fearlessly now we ride!

On-on-on-with haughty front!
A puff, a shriek and a bound;
While the tardy echoes wake too late
To babble back the sound.
And the old pike is left alone,
And the stagers seek the plough;
We have circled the world with an iron rail,
And the steam-king rules us now!