Up The Line

by Will McKendree Carleton

Will Carleton

Through blinding storm and clouds of night,
We swiftly pushed our restless flight;
With thundering hoof and warning neigh,
We urged our steed upon his way
Up the line.

Afar the lofty head-light gleamed;
Afar the whistle shrieked and screamed;
And glistening bright, and rising high,
Our flakes of fire bestrewed the sky,
Up the line.

Adown the long, complaining track,
Our wheels a message hurried back;
And quivering through the rails ahead,
Went news of our resistless tread,
Up the line.

The trees gave back our din and shout,
And flung their shadow arms about;
And shivering in their coats of gray,
They heard us roaring far away,
Up the line.

The wailing storm came on apace,
And dashed its tears into our fade;
But steadily still we pierced it through,
And cut the sweeping wind in two,
Up the line.

A rattling rush across the ridge,
A thunder-peal beneath the bridge;
And valley and hill and sober plain
Re-echoed our triumphant strain,
Up the line.

And when the Eastern streaks of gray
Bespoke the dawn of coming day,
We halted our steed, his journey o'er,
And urged his giant form no more,
Up the line.

Last updated May 13, 2019