From the Hudson to the Yosemite

Jun 17, 2012 by

FROM THE HUDSON TO THE YOSEMITE  by Wallace Bruce was first published in 1884. Climb aboard for one big poetic ode to the train ride from the Hudson to the Yosemite!
“Announcement ALL ABOARD! Ladies and Gentlemen: It gives me pleasure as sole owner, President, Secretary, Treasurer and General Passenger Agent of this romantic route, ‘ From the Hudson to the Yosemite,’ to an announce that the train is made up and ready to start on schedule time. According to advertisement, the run of three thousand miles will be made in about sixty minutes. I have consented, a la Cook, to take charge of the train in person, to collect the tickets and announce the stations. It may not be professional in a Conductor to be over-talkative to his passengers ; but I must be  pardoned at the outset in saying, that, in addition to these valuable lines, over which Railroad Kings have never speculated, I have owned for years extensive ‘ Castles in Spain,’ and have one or two first-class mortgages on several Italian sunsets. As this kind of property never varies perceptibly in the market, I feel perfectly easy to wander at will, and am happy to find myself in such interesting company. As I pass through the train I will tear off the first coupon the Hudson and start at once on an ‘Excursion’ which has the advantage of being briefer than Wordsworth’s…… EN ROUTE. It has been regarded for more than a century that the word Poughkeepsie, derived from the Indian ‘Apo-keep-sing,’    signified ‘Safe Harbor’; but, after patient investigation, it is now generally understood that the original meaning was simply ‘Ten Minutes for Refreshments.’ This being the home of your Conductor, it was his purpose to greet the tourist with a brass band, a college procession, and a poem. The passengers being, however, for the most part, of an intellectual cast, only the literary part of the programme is preserved. There was a young man in Pokipsie Who liked a certain girl’s lipsie ; But her papa came in, And the young man did spin Right down the front steps as if tipsy. There was a young lady at Vassar As learned as any profassor ; She wore her dress plain, To show she had brain, And she would not let any one ‘sass ‘ her. There was at the big Eastman College A youth so crammed full of knowledge, When he opened his jaw He filled you with awe, And you left without any apolege.  Some years ago your Conductor was present at a Decoration Day service in Hudson. In the long procession he noted the frayed flags of Antietam, Gettysburg, Malvern Hill, and the long roll of battle-fields which we know by heart. The stripes were all worn away, but the stars remained, as if to symbolize the long struggle and the grand result. We deck today each soldier’s grave, We come with garlands pure and white To bind the brows of those who gave Their all to keep our honor bright. We cannot pay the debt we owe, They gave their lives that we might live ; Our warmest words fall far below The worship that we fain would give. O country, fairest of. the free ! Columbia ! name forever blest ; O lost ‘Atlantis’ of the sea, Securely anchored in the West ; Unfold the flag their hands have borne ! The shreds of many a well fought field ; The stripes alone are rent and torn, The stars are there, our sacred shield.”  Enjoy and Keep Reading!

 

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