SOME critics, in "reviewing" a former work of mine,
took exception to the railway poems it contained, as being exaggerated in
incident and over-drawn in treatment. In reply to these criticisms,
I beg to remark that nearly all my railway poems are founded upon facts,
and not a few of them upon incidents that have taken place upon a line on
which I work. There are others founded upon accounts of railway
accidents, seen in glancing over the papers in my leisure hours; while
others, again, have for basis communications made to me by railway men
with whom I came into contact in my daily work. I will frankly
admit, however, to having taken advantage now and then--although in a very
slight degree--of the license usually allowed to verse-writers of altering
details in order to create a more complete whole.
One word more. I send out this volume, like former
ones, in the hope that it may interest my fellow-workers on the railway,
and heighten to some degree their pride in the service, however humble may
be their position. I trust that its perusal may lead the
engine-driver, among others, to look upon his "iron horse" as the
embodiment of a force as noble as gigantic--a force which has opened up
for commerce and industry a thousand paths that otherwise would have
remained undiscovered: a power destined, beyond doubt, to be one of the
civilisers of the world.
BY SANQUHAR, N.B.
M'CORQUODALE & CO.