Poetry of Kansas

The Whistling Engineer.

DOWN thro the Neosho valley
    There runs an engineer,
With an arm that's strong and steady,
    And a heart that knows no fear;
And when his train approaches
    The town where his sweet-heart dwells,
He gives a loud, long whistle,
    And thus his presence tells.
It may be in the morning,
    As through his gates of gold,
The King of Day advances,
    And scatters wealth untold;
On the fresh, free air it cometh
    To every listening ear,
The long, long, long, shrill whistle
    Of the loving engineer.
Perchance it is at midnight,
    When darkness like a pall,
With many a wild, weird phantom,
    Has settled over all;
The stillness then is broken,
    And the startled atmosphere
Rings out with the loud, long whistle
    Of the loving engineer.
No matter where the maiden,
    And whether eve or morn,
The sound of that long whistle
    Is like the bugle horn
Of a gallant Alpine lover;
    It fills her heart with cheer,
And, listening to its echoes,
    Cries "There's my engineer."
 May many years of "running"
    Come to lover and to maid,
May they never need a "wrecker,"
    And never run "down grade;"
And when these two together
    Approach the other sphere,
May it be with the long, glad whistle
    Of the loving engineer.

__J. M. Cavaness.

Poems by Two Brothers
J. M. Cavaness
(Chetopa: J. M. Cavaness and Son. 1896)
Pages 47-48

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October 3, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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