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Full Online Book HomePoemsStanzas Suggested By The Railway Accident At Desjardin's Canal
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Stanzas Suggested By The Railway Accident At Desjardin's Canal Post by :dlisenba Category :Poems Author :Thomas Cowherd Date :October 2011 Read :2374

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Stanzas Suggested By The Railway Accident At Desjardin's Canal

SUGGESTED BY THE DREADFUL RAILWAY ACCIDENT
AT THE DESJARDINS CANAL, MARCH 12, 1857.


Deep gloom pervades my spirit, and great sorrow fills my breast
With an overwhelming sense, which leaves me but little rest,
For a dreadful stroke has fallen on the town in which I live,
And sympathy and condolence I would most gladly give.

I have gone through many a street since this event transpired,
Seen the faces of my townsmen in grief sincere attired,
Heard them make sad remarks, seen tears bedim their eyes,
While from every feeling bosom burst forth responsive sighs.

The stranger in our midst might well wonder why we're sad,
For tokens of prosperity can everywhere be had.
The river has not risen to a mighty swelling flood,
Nor raging fire destroyed the homes of the Evil and the Good.

No pestilence like a serpent, with dread envenomed fangs
Has seized the young and beautiful and filled our souls with pangs.
Then why has gloom profound so settled on each face,
And the finger-prints of sorrow left on us so dark a trace?

Ah! loving hearts left homes all filled with family delight.
Full of hope and joyous feelings, never dreaming of a blight
To prospects of enjoyment that awaited their return,
Where the smiles of wives and children make true love the brighter
burn.

In such a happy state of mind they to Toronto went,
And accomplished all their objects in the time which had been spent.
Now, with still lighter hearts they make for home again,
And in the cars meet many of their traveling fellow men.

Drawn by the snorting Iron Horse along the track they flew,
What danger might be lurking near was hidden from their view.
On, on, still on they went to a bridged precipice,
When the Bridge gave way and all were hurled into the dread abyss!

The locomotive like a demon took first the fatal leap,
Dragging the human-freighted cars with speed into the deep
One plunged with him beneath the dark and icy wave,
And one stood upright on its end, as if some few to save.

Oh, my soul shrinks back with horror from dwelling on the scene
Which met the gaze of anxious friends who to that place have been.
I'd rather dwell upon the fact that Death to some was Life;
That they have gained by having done so soon with earthly strife.

What thoughts filled all the bosoms of that mixed devoted band
Is only known to God Most High, who, in his mighty hand
Holds all our life and breath as his own most sovereign gift,
And who alone can mortals shield from such destruction swift.

O, I know that some there died who had tasted of his grace,
And sudden death to them was summons to the place
Prepared by Jesus for his Saints in the mansions of the Blest,
And they now are drinking of the sweets of Everlasting Rest.

Amongst these we gladly number the three (1) whom we have lost,
In sympathy with the bereaved would try to count the cost;
But oh, 'twould prove a fruitless task; then, while we feel so sore,
Let us humbly bow our hearts to God and worship and adore.


(Footnote 1: Mr. and Mrs. John Russell and Mr. Secord, who were well known as consistent Christians by all who had the pleasure of their acquaintance. All left large families and a numerous circle of friends to mourn their shocking and untimely end.)


(The end)
Thomas Cowherd's poem: Stanzas Suggested By The Railway Accident At Desjardin's Canal

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