More Railroad Poetry -- Conductor

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Fri Jan 1 16:28:22 EST 2021

>From the *Salem Sentinel*, 2 May 1899.

Bruce in Blacksburg
A conductor sees no peace at all,
He is always on a strain,
They never let him have his way,
They overload his train.

His orders all read wrong to him,
His bills are all mixed up,
He is hungry, tired, hot and mad,
His heart is in a thump.

His engineer don’t know a thing,
His brakemen are all dumb,
His flagman won’t go back to flag,
The train he meets won’t come.

He has to brake and couple cars,
And throw the switches too,
His train breaks loose at every dip,
And his air brakes are but few.

He must set off, and pick up cars,
At every stop and station,
He must work and worry all the year,
And have no recreation.

The Yard Master has no sense at all,
His clerks are in the same fix,
He has hot boxes by the score,
And must look out for Six.

The operators go to sleep,
And sometimes stop his train,
The engine slips and slides along,
His language is then profane.

He is called to leave when he gets in,
No time for him to rest,
He must report each minute’s delay,
And do what Train Master thinks best.

He must not leave his boarding house,
At any time of day,
He must work each Sunday too,
Or they will stop his pay.

They give him colored flagmen,
They cut his brakemen off,
They leave but one to help him,
And that is not enough.

He rages, but it does no good,
The officials, they don’t know it,
He pulls his hair and swears aloud,
But gets no credit for it.

He lives a dog’s life here below,
But must not even murmur,
He must not do a right or wrong,
Or he will get fired this summer.
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