WRECK No.3 "The Horrors of Travel"

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(Harpers Weekly Sept. 23, 1865)

“All aboard” a train

Riding into another train

Or over a cliff because someone

Or something broke a rail!

Whether intentionally or innocently

It is equally horrible for you and the conductor.

That’s it, that’s all, your life is over!

So long, so short

Now no difference.

Think of playing an accordion so blithe

Aboard a side-wheeler, enjoying the cruise.

The steamer blows up – in two.

You, the squeezebox, the purser go three ways.

There is no help – no big sand pail

No caustic for a ship breaking up

Or glue for its passengers and crew.

In spite of all the jolly talk

About comfort and progress,

Or gainful commerce taught

About investments in transshipments,

“Where Rail Meets Sail”

Was once also a horrific thought,

Immigrants jostled in schooners in a storm,

Tourists steaming aboard a Blue Funnel

Travelers riding west on a Mountain Goat

Most expected that those machines were well wrought

With handiwork fit tight and crews well taught

But still climbing up the riders’ throats

Were the old horrors of travel.

Boarding a train or schooner

You don’t have to any longer.

But there are modern ways

To find perdition sooner.

Take your own motorcar

Or ride a motorbike

Into a slippery night.

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