The Iron Horse now silent stands,
Among the towering forest trees,
Like an aged man whose tired hands
Enjoy the days of rest and ease.
Its days of youth and manhood past,
Its beauty and its glamour gone,
Its fiery nostrils cold at last,
No more is heard the whistle’s tone.
In bygone days its handsome form,
With matchless energy endowed,
Has trodden fields and highways long
And labored honestly and proud.
Around it now the children play,
Without a thought of pain or harm,
The birds and squirrels feel no dismay
Nor view it with undue alarm.
For many years its power has made
The thresher do its noble work,
And drove the saw-mill’s shining blade
Thru massive logs and ne’er a shirk.
The boiler shell is old and weak,
The fire sheets are patched and frail,
The aged flues are full of leaks,
The furnace crown is decked with
Its ragged coat has lost its shine,
The iron feet are red with rust,
The massive gears no longer whine,
The wooden parts have gone to dust.
The old smoke-stack has lost its crown,
The water tanks are rusted out,
The steering gear has broken down,
The injectors have ceased to fret and
The deep and lasting inroads made
By the ceaseless ravages of Time,
Are not erased by Sun or rain,
Nor by this poet’s homely rhyme.
For those of us who loved to feel
The marvelous power these Engines
Fond memories around us steal,
That will not cease this side the grave.
May we who drove these faithful steeds
Prove true as they were in their day.
When Time and conscience test our
We need not fear the light of day.
When the Great Recorder comes at last
To check our deeds against our name,
He will not ask ‘Have you won or lost’
But ‘How have you played the game’.