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That minds me of our Viscount loon-Sir Ken
neth's kin—the chap Wi' russia leather tennis-shoon an' spar-decked
yachtin'-cap. I showed him round last week, o'er all—an' at the
last says he: “Mister McAndrews, don't you think steam spoils
romance at sea ?” Damned ijjit! I'd been doon that morn to see
what ailed the throws, Manholin', on my back-the cranks three inches
from my nose. Romance! Those first-class passengers they like
it very well, Printed an' bound in little books; but why don't
poets tell ? I'm sick of all their quirks an' turns—the loves an'
doves they dreamLord, send a man like Robbie Burns to sing the
Song o' Steam! To match wi' Scotia's noblest speech yon orchestra
sublime Whaurto-uplifted like the Just-the tail-rods mark
the time. The crank-throws give the double-bass; the feed
pump sobs an' heaves:
An' now the main eccentrics start their quarrel on
the sheaves. Her time, her own appointed time, the rocking
link-head bides, Till-hear that note ?—the rod's return whings
glimmerin' through the guides. They're all awa! True beat, full power, the
clangin' chorus goes Clear to the tunnel where they sit, my purrin'
dynamoes. Interdependence absolute, foreseen, ordained, de
creed, To work, Ye'll note, at any tilt an' every rate o'
speed. Fra skylight-lift to furnace-bars, backed, bolted,
braced an' stayed, An' singin' like the Mornin' Stars for joy that they
are made; While, out o'touch o’ vanity, the sweatin' thrust
block says: “Not unto us the praise, or man-not unto us the
praise!” Now, a' together, hear them lift their lesson—theirs
an' mine: “Law, Orrder, Duty an' Restraint, Obedience, Dis
Mill, forge an' try-pit taught them that when roar
in' they arose, An' whiles I wonder if a soul was gied them wi'
the blows. Oh for a man to weld it then, in one trip-hammer
strain, Till even first-class passengers could tell the mean
in' plain! But no one cares except mysel' that serve an’ un
derstand My seven thousand horse-power here. Eh, Lord!
They're grand—they're grand! Uplift am I? When first in store the new-made
beasties stood, Were Ye cast down that breathed the Word de
clarin' all things good ? Not so! O that warld-liftin' joy no after-fall
could vex, Ye've left a glimmer still to cheer the Man—the
Arrtifex! That holds, in spite o'knock and scale, o' friction,
waste an' slip, An' by that light-now, mark my word-we'll
build the Perfect Ship. I'll never last to judge her lines or take her curve
But I ha' lived an' I ha' worked. All thanks to
Thee, Most High! An' I ha' done what I ha' done-judge Thou if ill
or wellAlways Thy Grace preventin' me. ...
Losh! Yon's the “Stand by” bell. Pilot so soon? His flare it is. The mornin'-watch
is set. Well, God be thanked, as I was sayin', I'm no
Pelagian yet. Now I'll tak’ on. ...
'Morrn, Ferguson Man, have ye ever thought What your good leddy costs in coal? ... I'll
burn 'em down to port.
I SENT a message to my dear
A thousand leagues and more to herThe dumb sea-levels thrilled to hear,
And Lost Atlantis bore to her.
Behind my message hard I came,
And nigh had found a grave for me; But that I launched of steel and flame
Did war against the wave for me.
Uprose the deep, by gale on gale,
To bid me change my mind again, He broke his teeth along my rail,
And, roaring, swung behind again.
I stayed the sun at noon to tell
My way across the waste of it; I read the storm before it fell
And made the better haste of it.