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Poem by Robert William Service


Old Engine Driver


For five and twenty years I've run
A famous train;
But now my spell of speed is done,
No more I'll strain
My sight along the treadless tracks,
The gleamy rails:
My hand upon the throttle slacks,
My vision fails.

No more I'll urge my steed of steel
Through hostile nights;
No more the mastery I'll feel
Of monster might.
I'll miss the hiss of giant steam,
The clank, the roar;
The agony of brakes that scream
I'll hear no more.

Oh I have held within my hand
A million lives;
And now my son takes command
And proudly drives;
While from my cottage wistfully
I watch his train,
And wave and wave and seem to see
Myself again.



Robert William Service


Robert William Service's other poems:
  1. Pullman Porter
  2. The Three Voices
  3. The Missal Makers
  4. Trees against the Sky
  5. The Search (Happiness, a-roving round)


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