Prayer for Travellers by C.J. Dennis

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The big empty estates make the railways lose money, and then there's the deficit, and then comes the necessity for cheapness to make up the deficit, and then there's the smash. - BULLETIN (23/7/'10)

No one should step on a train without a silent prayer for the safe-keeping of himself and fellow-passengers; or step from a train in safety without lifting up his heart in thanksgiving to God. - Victorian clergyman.

Lord, Who made the Fatman,
   Who owns the runs afar,
Where the rotting townships
   And useless railways are,
Punish not Thy servant
   For his greed and vice;
Let some other traveller
   Be the sacrifice.

Lord of politicians
   Of an olden day,
They who built the railways
   That never, never pay,
Visit not Thy vengeance
   On my guiltless head;
Let some Tory traveller
   Pay the cost instead.

Lord, Who knoweth in what year
   The car in which I sit
Was built, and that it runneth still
   To meet the deficit,
Hold its planks together, Lord,
   Stay its crazy bolts;
Let some godless traveller
   Bear the shocks and jolts.

Lord, Who knoweth who's to blame
   For the railway smash,
Thou Who marketh how thet scheme
   To make up squandered cash,
If Thou still ordainest
   A sacrifice must be,
Hold it till a later train -
   Mercy, Lord, on me!

Lord, who made the Fatman,
   Who grabbed for sake of cash,
The land that made the deficit
   That made the railway smash,
Send Thou not Thy lowly folk
   To be the sacrifice -
They that sin the sin, O Lord,
   Should surely pay the price.

First published in The Bulletin, 11 August 1910

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on August 11, 2013 8:11 AM.

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