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When I saw the peasant faintly reel
With the toil that he daily bore,
Or tugged at the weary oar;
The flight of the carrier dove,
Or the lines of impatient love;
As these were outstripp'd afar,
Or chained to the flying car.
Ha! ha! ha! they found me at last;
They invited me forth at length; And I rushed to my throne with a thunder-blast,
And laughed in my iron strength. Oh! then you saw a wondrous change
On the earth and ocean wide, Where now my fiery armies range,
Nor wait for wind or tide.
Hurrah! hurrah! the waters o'er,
The mountain's steep decline,
The world! the world is mine!
Or those where his beams decline;
Or the Orient floods divine:
The ocean pales where'er I sweep,
To hear my strength rejoice,
Cower, trembling at my voice.
The thoughts of his godlike 'mind;
The lightning is left behind.
In the darksome depths of the fathomless mine,
My tireless arm doth play,
Or the dawn of the glorious day.
From the hidden caves below;
With a crystal gush o'erflow.
I blow the bellows, I forge the steel,
In all the shops of trade;
Where my arms of strength are made;
I carry, I spin, I weave;
On every Saturday eve.
I've no muscles to weary, no frame to decay,
No bones to be “laid on the shelf”;
While I manage this world myself.
But harness me down with your iron bands;
* Be sure of your curb and rein; For I scorn the strength of your puny hands,
As the tempest scorns a chain. Pü'ny, very weak; con cealed' (kon sēld'), hidden; way'ward (wā'werd), uncertain; cour'ser (kõr'sēr), a fast horse; O'ri ent, eastern; forge, shape; mint, place where money is coined. STUDY HELPS
Who speaks in this poem? In what kind of humor is he? Why does he tell us to harness him down?
Why did he laugh as he lay concealed?
What things are mentioned in the second and third stanzas that the steam thought he could outstrip when given a chance?
Read the lines that tell what happened when “they found me at last.”
Why does he say "the world is mine"?
Read as many passages as you can find in which the steam tells what he does.
Does he put all these things “in print" oftener now than "every Saturday eve”?
In the last stanza what advantage does he say he has over man?
Do you suppose it will ever be true that we may “go and play" and let steam manage things?
Why does he repeat his caution about harnessing him down?
I. ONE, TWO, THREE
One old Oxford ox opening oysters;
Seven Severn salmon swallowing shrimps;
II. A CURE FOR THE HICCOUGH
(Read in one breath) A thatcher of Thatchwood went to Thatchet a-thatching. Di a thatcher of Thatchwood go to Thatchet a-thatching? If a thatcher of Thatchwood went to Thatchet a-thatching, Where's the thatching the thatcher of Thatchwood has thatched?
THE BROTHERS GRIMM
Did you ever hear the story of the three poor soldiers, who, after having fought hard in the wars, set out on their road home, begging their way as they went?
They had journeyed a long way, sick at heart with their bad luck at thus being turned loose on the world in their old age, when one evening they reached a deep, gloomy wood through which they must pass; night came fast upon them, and they found that they must, however unwillingly,