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Sam Walter Foss (Сэм Уолтер Фосс)

The Coming Century

If the century gone, as the wise ones attest,
  Exceeds all the centuries before it,
Then the century coming will better its best
  And tower immeasurably o’er it.
And, if miracles now are coming to pass
  Right here in your and my time,
Why, miracles then will be thicker than grass
  And as common as flies are in fly time.

We will send down our pipes to the Earth’s burning core
  Where the smithy of Vulcan is quaking,
And the fires that make the volcanoes outpour
  We will use for our johnny-cake baking.
And then we will bridle and harness the tide
  And make the pulse beat of the ocean
Provide the propulsion when Baby shall ride
  And keep his small carriage in motion.

We will hitch the East wind to the crank of our churn
  And make us a butter to “brag on”;
By projecting a psychical impulse we’ll turn
  The wheels of a furniture wagon.
We’ll make yellow squashes from nice yellow dirt
  Scooped up from our pastures and beaches;
On Sahara some chemical compound we’ll squirt,
  And the sand will evolve into peaches.

And a hundred strong men by concentring their will
  Ride straight to one point, like a plummet,
Will turn upside down a respectable hill
  And spin it around on its summit.
Our buildings we’ll build of solidified air
  ’Way up from the sill to the skylight,
With trimmings of brownstone surpassingly fair
  Of solidified air of the twilight.

We will fly through the air from New York to the Rhine,
  Through Germany, Lower and Upper,
Stop off, if we like, in Geneva to dine
  And come back to New York for our supper.
If we don’t wish to fly we will throw our own thought,
  Yes, each throw his thought to his sweetheart,
By a kind of a mental telepathy shot,
  A method by which heart can meet heart.

We shall learn of the beings who people the stars
  And add to the cosmical mirth, then,
By telling new jokes to the people of Mars
  And hear then laugh back on the earth, then.
Ah, many trans-cosmic debates shall be whirled,
  And long be the parleys between us;
One end of the dialogues fixed in this world,
  And the other located in Venus.

Sam Walter Foss's other poems:
  1. The Calf-Path
  2. The Trumpets
  3. Business
  4. The Poster-Painter's Masterpiece
  5. Odium Theologicum

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