Railway Mania


The stirring age we live in now must surely beat the olden one
The present is the iron age the other was the golden one
Our wisdom perhaps is not so great in that there is some failery
But there is no doubt at all that we are much improved in raillery

     O Dear O!, O dear O!
     Railway speculation now is all the go.

When I was but a tiny boy and did about with granny stir
The only railway travelling then was sliding down the banister
If we got off that inclined plane she'd soundly rate and sermon us
And nothing did we know of rods except about the terminus

If I had power to write on rails my manner would be Byron¹y [Note 336.1]
By laying rods in every part folks will indulge their irony
Some will burn their fingers soon, a pretty mess they'll make at it [Note 336.2]
The whole country is a gridiron turned and each has got a stake in it [Note 336.3]

Bill Brown he talks of shares in the Equatorial and Equator line [Note 336.4]
And William Brown has been up town on the coal and coke and tater line [Note 336.5]
Jack Nokes who dealt in boxes says hisen's a defunct line [Note 336.6]
So leaves off the portmanteau line and takes unto the trunk line

Now horses ride in carriages instead of flesh tis metal now [Note 336.7]
Experience proves that little use are cattle² to the kettle now
Calves lean o'er their pens like authors wondering what has got 'em
Thus 'tis lines of weal we see up top and lines of wheels at bottom

Now railways go across the earth enticing many a soul to roll
Their lines are washer women's quite because they go from pole to pole
Some companies whose rods are bad and who for cash are angling [Note 336.8]
Might write up "ironing done here" and very often mangling

Such moving, grooving, proving, such rounding and such bevelling
A change is coming very fast, a universal levelling
Such pulling down and rising up so that the roads may have no jerk upon
The promoters tell the shareholders that they must have perfect flats to work upon [Note 336.9]