THEE for my recitative!
Thee in the driving storm, even as now—the snow—the winter-day declining;
Thee in thy panoply, thy measured dual throbbing, and thy beat convulsive;
Thy black cylindric body, golden brass, and silvery steel;
Thy ponderous side-bars, parallel and connecting rods, gyrating, shuttling at thy sides;
Thy metrical, now swelling pant and roar—now tapering in the distance;
Thy great protruding head-light, fix’d in front;
Thy long, pale, floating vapor-pennants, tinged with delicate purple;
The dense and murky clouds out-belching from thy smoke-stack;
Thy knitted frame—thy springs and valves—the tremulous twinkle of thy wheels;
Thy train of cars behind, obedient, merrily-following,
Through gale or calm, now swift, now slack, yet steadily careering:
Type of the modern! emblem of motion and power! pulse of the continent!
For once, come serve the Muse, and merge in verse, even as here I see thee,
With storm, and buffeting gusts of wind, and falling snow;
By day, thy warning, ringing bell to sound its notes,
By night, thy silent signal lamps to swing.

Fierce-throated beauty!
Roll through my chant, with all thy lawless music! thy swinging lamps at night;
Thy piercing, madly-whistled laughter! thy echoes, rumbling like an earthquake, rousing
all!
Law of thyself complete, thine own track firmly holding;
(No sweetness debonair of tearful harp or glib piano thine,)
Thy trills of shrieks by rocks and hills return’d,
Launch’d o’er the prairies wide—across the lakes,
To the free skies, unpent, and glad, and strong.

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

5 Comments

  1. Bianca Bauer says:

    Does ANYONE else realize that this poem is about a penis? Not to be offensive, but c’mon… gyrating? The poem is great, let’s just not fool ourselves…

  2. tiller says:

    i hd to do this poem for english coursework
    but i found it quite good

  3. Chris Pester says:

    Great analysis. Why can’t I find a true and comprehensible analysis of the poem anywhere?

  4. Willard Flanagan says:

    I being a Railroad fan find this a fine poem, also a fan of Walt Whitman for many years.

  5. Willard Flanagan says:

    Being a Railroad fan I find great pleasure in reading this particular poem, I am fan of Walt Whitman also.

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