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The Last Postillion Post by :chili Category :Poems Author :Joseph Victor Scheffel Date :November 2011 Read :1075

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The Last Postillion

Bald ist, so weit die Menschheit haust,
Der Schienenweg gespannt;
Es keucht und schnaubt und stampft und saust
Das Dampfross rings durch's Land.

As soon as men have gathered there,
The iron road's at hand;
Then comes with scream and stamp and blare
The steam-horse through the land.

And if five hundred years should pass,
The learnedst cannot say
What once on earth a teamster was,
Or waggon-right and way.

And only in the solstice-night,
Where mystic figures gleam,
Tween earth and sky in lowering light,
You'll see a wondrous team.

The grey horse tramps, the whip cracks fair,
Loud rings the post-horn's tone;
A ghost comes coaching through the air,
A grey old postilli-ón.

On yellow coat in moonlight cold,
Thurn Taxis' buttons shine:
He smokes tobacco ages old,
From Ulm pipe brown and fine.

He smokes and speaks: 'Oh, earthly ball,
How changed since days of mine,
When I, with song and crack and call,
Was postman on the Rhine.

'Oh, time of passports, tramps, and knaves,
Of fees and sprees o' nights,
Of post-stalls and of wanderstaves,
Of high ideal flights.

'The world now moves by rent and cent,
The best long since are gone;
And with the last old porter went
The last old postilli-ón.

'Now steam runs wild, wind burns in haste,
All time has burst its bonds;
The sun paints pictures; lightning fast
The long wire corresponds.

'Oh, armour new!--Oh, same old fight!
Where is there peace to-day?
Oh, gas, phosphorus, steam, and light!
Away, my horse,--away!'

(The end)
Joseph Victor Scheffel's poem: Last Postillion

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