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Selected poetry from

An Anthology of Steam Railroad Poetry

Volume 2

(Canadian Edition)

Edited By
Michael Gee

Text 1987 - 2005 All Rights Reserved

Redistribution without permission from the Author is forbidden.

Used with permission

The Yard Engine

by Guy Smith

(Known as "The Flying Railroader," wrote for the Canadian Association Review in September, 1933.)

Up and down, up and down,
She goes her sluggish way.
No pilot on her bull-dog front,
No main line run but doomed to shunt
The box cars on the loading spurs,
Merchandise, and coal, and furs,
So she goes slowly up and down
Upon her sluggish way.

Up and down, up and down,
She moves there every day,
Shunting cars to swamp and dump,
Pushing them o'er scale and hump.
Main line trains go flashing by,
Sending smoke clouds dense and high,
But she goes slowly up and down
Upon her sluggish way.

Up and down, up and down,
With memories of a day
When she was pulling some fast run,
When she sped toward the rising sun,
Racing along with the red card freight,
But now she's met her timely fate,
And she goes slowly up and down.
Upon her sluggish way.

Up and down, up and down,
Just watch her smokestack sway,
And see the man with silvery hair
Who pulls her throttle, sets her air.
For now he, too, must linger there
And run her slowly up and down
Upon her sluggish way.

Up and down, up and down,
Old timers on their way.
A man who's made a record run,
And she, whose lik is nearly done,
Are grinding out their final miles,
yet they salute with toots and smiles,
As they go slowly up and down
Upon their sluggish way.