Only a Pointsman

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Lines suggested by the death of  a pointsman killed by a passing train:-

Lines suggested by the death of John Mann, who was recently killed near Pleasington by a passing train:- [Note 565.1]

As I read my morning paper
Noting what its columns said,
One brief item caught my notice,
And its thrilling words I read.
There an accident was mentioned
Caused by a passing train
And thus the paper told us
Of a poor pointsman slain [Note 565.2]

Then my thoughts in sadness wandered
To that pointsman's humble home,
Where a wife and three young children
Awaited him to come.
God have pity on the children
Heaven help the desolate wife!
Four poor hearts are wrung with anguish
By the loss of that dear life!

Only a pointsman! 'Tis soon forgotten
Scarce remembered for a day;
Other themes our thoughts engaging,
Dispel it from our minds away;
But our hearts would break with anguish
We would weep and fret and moan
We would feel the bitterest anguish
If that pointsman were our own.

 

 

Sources (texts, music) & Publishing data

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Source Title Only A Pointsman
Bargery Number 565
Roud Not in the Roud Index
Earliest Date 1887
Evidence for Earliest Date This is a re-working of a poem published in the Railway Review in 1887
Latest Date 1888
Evidence for Latest Date Publication date
Source of Text Railway Review, 5th October 1888
Author E. Garrity (Accrington)
Music (Given or Suggested) Poem
Source of Music n/a
Composer n/a
Music Notation n/a
Printer or Publisher Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants
First Line As I scanned my morning paper
Parsed Title Only A Pointsman

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