Greenock Railway ('Twas on a Monday morning)

Scene at Dunoon whence Glasgow bound travellers catch the early morning steamer to Greenock to connect with the city train.



TWAS on a Monday morning soon,
As I lay snoring at Dunoon, [Note-146.2]
Dreaming of wonders in the moon,
I nearly lost the Railway.
So up I got, put on my clothes,
And felt, as you may well suppose,
Of sleep I scarce had half a dose,
Which made my yawns as round as O's;
No matter, on went hat and coat;
A cup of coffee, boiling hot,
I poured like lava down my throat
In haste to catch the Railway.
     Racing, chasing to the shore,
     Those who fled from every door,
     There never was such haste before
     To catch the Greenock Railway. [Note 146.3]

The steam was up, the wind was high, [Note 146.4]
A dark cloud scour'd across the sky,
The quarter-deck was scarcely dry,
Of the boat that meets the Railway;
Yet thick as sheep in market pen,
Stood all the Sunday-watering men, [Note 146.5]
Like growling lions in a den,
With faces inches five and ten; [Note 146.6]
Some were hurrying to and fro,
Others were sick and crying oh!
Whose wooden peg's that on my toe?
In the boat that meets the Railway.
     Rushing, crushing up and down;
     Tipping the cash to Captain B--n;
     O what a hurry to get to town
     Upon the morning Railway.

When arrived at Greenock Quay, [Note 146.7]
What confusion-only see-
Each selfish wight(1) so quickly flee
In hopes to catch the Railway.
High and low, thick and thin,
Trying who the race shall win,
Creaking boots and hob-nailed(1) shoon¹,
All determined to get in! [Note 146.8]
People laughing at the shore;
Merchants smiling at each door; [Note 146.9]
Those, running who ne'er ran before,
And all to catch the Railway!
     Fleet through Greenock's narrow lanes,
     Over mud, and dibs(1) and stanes(1)
     Careless o' their boots and banes(1)
     And all to catch the Railway.

See the rear-guard far behind,
Out of temper, out of wind,
Out of patience, out of mind!
For fear they lose the Railway.
Last comes old Fatsides with his wife,
Waging a real hot-mutton strife; [Note 146.10]
"Such scenes in Scotland sure are rife;
It's wery hot upon my life!"
"Alack there'll be no room for us-
Let's get into the homnibus:"
"O pray, my dear! don't make a fuss
If we should lose the Railway."
     Blowing, glowing all the way,
     Crying upon the train to stay,
     We'll never get to town to-day,
     Upon the morning Railway!

Now the crowded station gained,
Rain be-drenched and mud be-stained,
Melting-browed and asthma-pained
Hurrying to the Railway!
A boat has just arrived before,
Which later left a nearer shore,
And fills a full-sized train and more,
Which is a most confounded bore;
But coach to coach are quickly joined-
Which surely is surpassing kind;
And off we fly as fleet as wind,
Upon the Greenock Railway!
     Thus the sports of railway speed,
     Nought on earth can now exceed,
     Except my song, which all must read,
     About the Greenock Railway.

The moral of my song I add,
To make you married ladies glad,
Who lately were a little sad-
Before the Greenock Railway.
So now dispel each moppish(1) frown,
And don your most attractive gown,
Your loving husbands can get down,
In one short fleeting hour from town;[Note 146.11]
While vessels waiting at the quay,
Conduct them swiftly home to tea,
Or to a drop of barley bree(1),
So certain is the Railway.
     Then let us steal a march on time,
     And echo forth this ranting rhyme,
     Which street Rubinis think sublime, [Note 146.12]
     About the Greenock Railway.