The Rev Edward Dalton was a Victorian cleric and leading light in the Protestant Association. Here is an extract from his sublime effusion, ‘The Railway Journey’ (in The Sea, the Railway Journey and other Poems, London c1875)
The last friends part,
And off we start,
The engine pants and snorts and blows,
The carriage doorways slam and close,
The broad and ponderous wheels are rolled
By thick-set arms of iron mould,
While streaming from the sprouting side
The steam escapes in hissing tide.
Cranch, crunch, thud, rud, dubber-dub-rub.
Thudder, rubber, dub-dub-dub- a- rub-rub.
Startled at starting, for our nerves are weak,
We gasp for breath,
Grow pale as death,
As one long piercing, shrill, unearthly shriek
Rings thro’ ears, and stops the power to speak,
The cry of anguish, or vindictive yell
Of baffled imp, or vanquished fiend of hell,
The death-shriek of some monstrous beast,
We’ve smashed a million pigs at least.
Ah no! no sucking pig has lost a bristle,
The shriek was but the starting railway whistle,
Our speed increases as we rattle down
And reach the suburbs of the outer town;
And there, yes, there
On the look-our slope of the garden sward
I caught a glimpse of my darling Maude… Continue reading