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Night Journey

 Now as the train bears west,
Its rhythm rocks the earth,
And from my Pullman berth
I stare into the night
While others take their rest.
Bridges of iron lace, A suddenness of trees, A lap of mountain mist All cross my line of sight, Then a bleak wasted place, And a lake below my knees.
Full on my neck I feel The straining at a curve; My muscles move with steel, I wake in every nerve.
I watch a beacon swing From dark to blazing bright; We thunder through ravines And gullies washed with light.
Beyond the mountain pass Mist deepens on the pane; We rush into a rain That rattles double glass.
Wheels shake the roadbed stone, The pistons jerk and shove, I stay up half the night To see the land I love.

by Theodore Roethke
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