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Henry Clay Work

(1 October 1832 – 8 June 1884 / Middletown, Connecticut)

Crossing the Grand Sierras


All aboard! all aboard!
The hissing breath of the iron steed
Proclaims his wish to be quickly freed;
And soon as the stroke from the bell we hear,
He springs at the touch of his engineer,
And a way we glide
O'er prairies wide,
Through verdant vales,
And mountain dales,
To the last great chain,
Which has striv'n in vain
With the Lightning! the Lightning!
the Lightning Palace Train.

Forgetting far Atlantic,
And midway scenes romantic,
We scale the peaks gigantic,
Which guard the Land of Gold:
Here silver rills are leaping,
Here lovely lakes are sleeping,
And snowclad granites keeping
Their "watch of years" untold.

We sing a wond'rous story,
No nation sang before!
A Continental Chorus,
That echoes either shore:
We sang it on the summit!
We sing it on the plain!
We've climbed the Grand Sierras
With the Lightning Palace Train,
With the Lighning! the Lighning!
the Lightning Palace Train.

All aboard! all aboard!
No toil can tire our important steed,
So once again will we test his speed!
How quick is the wish of our hearts obey'd!
He starts at the turn of the downward grade,
And again we glide
By torent side,
O'er trestl'd deeps,
Through tunel'd steeps,
While the victries wane
Which they sought to gain
With the Lightning! the Lightning!
the Lightning Palace Train.

'Neath timber'd roofs unending,
From winters snows defending,
Through canyons wild descending
To the City of the Plain:
We leave the scenes terrific,
We pass the fields prolific,
And view the broad Pacific--
The Golden gated main.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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