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Poem by Eugene Field
The Jaffa and Jerusalem Railway
A tortuous double iron track; a station here, a station there; A locomotive, tender, tanks; a coach with stiff reclining chair; Some postal cars, and baggage, too; a vestibule of patent make; With buffers, duffers, switches, and the soughing automatic brake— This is the Orient's novel pride, and Syria's gaudiest modern gem: The railway scheme that is to ply 'twixt Jaffa and Jerusalem. Beware, O sacred Mooley cow, the engine when you hear its bell; Beware, O camel, when resounds the whistle's shrill, unholy swell; And, native of that guileless land, unused to modern travel's snare, Beware the fiend that peddles books—the awful peanut-boy beware. Else, trusting in their specious arts, you may have reason to condemn The traffic which the knavish ply 'twixt Jaffa and Jerusalem. And when, ah, when the bonds fall due, how passing wroth will wax the state From Nebo's mount to Nazareth will spread the cry "Repudiate"! From Hebron to Tiberius, from Jordan's banks unto the sea, Will rise profuse anathemas against "that —— monopoly!" And F.M.B.A. shepherd-folk, with Sockless Jerry leading them, Will swamp that corporation line 'twixt Jaffa and Jerusalem.
Eugene Field's other poems:
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