The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Sunday and Frederick Museums

To a Locomotive in Winter
By Walt Whitman

Thee for my recitative!
Thee in the driving storm even as now, the snow, the winter-day declining,
Thee in thy panoply, thy measur'd dual throbbing and thy beat convulsive,
Thy black cylindric body, golden brass, and silvery steel,
Thy ponderous side-bars, parallel and connecting rods, gyrating, shuttling at thy sides,
Thy metrical, now swelling pant and roar, now tapering in the distance,
Thy great protruding head-light fix'd in front,
Thy long, pale, floating vapor-pennants, tinged with delicate purple,
The dense and murky clouds out-belching from thy smoke-stack,
Thy knitted frame, thy springs and valves, the tremulous twinkle of thy wheels,
Thy train of cars behind, obedient, merrily following,
Through gale or calm, now swift, now slack, yet steadily careering;
Type of the modern -- emblem of motion and power -- pulse of the continent,
For once come serve the Muse and merge in verse, even as here I see thee,
With storm and buffeting gusts of wind and falling snow,
By day thy warning ringing bell to sound its notes, By night thy silent signal lamps to swing.

Fierce-throated beauty!
Roll through my chant with all thy lawless music, thy swinging lamps at night,
Thy madly-whistled laughter, echoing, rumbling like an earthquake, rousing all,
Law of thyself complete, thine own track firmly holding,
(No sweetness debonair of tearful harp or glib piano thine,)
Thy trills of shrieks by rocks and hills return'd,
Launch'd o'er the prairies wide,across the lakes, To the free skies unpent and glad and strong.


We spent Saturday enjoying Frederick Museums By Candlelight with Paul's parents. We met them at the Brunswick Railroad Museum to see the huge permanent model train exhibit showing the progression from Washington, DC to Brunswick, plus the town's history as the railroad affected it, then we went out to lunch at Brunswick's fabulous Beans in the Belfry, a coffee shop in a former church that also has excellent sandwiches and desserts. From there we drove to the South Mountain Historical Society in Burkittsville, also located in a former church that was used as a Civil War hospital during and after the Battle of South Mountain, where there was a string quartet and lots of snacks. There was even a bit of snow on the ground.

We couldn't be that close to the South Mountain Creamery without stopping to get eggnog, and we also went to see the calves and piglets in the big barn. From there we went to Kiparoo Farm near Middletown, which has a big flock of sheep overlooking the mountains and a studio selling gorgeous homespun yarns and other crafts. At that point we had to come home so Adam could go to work tech at the last night of Blast (and the cast party from which he has not yet returned), so after dinner -- homemade peanut soup and cheese from the creamery -- Paul gave me an early birthday present, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World on Blu-Ray, so we have just spent the evening watching that plus all the deleted scenes!

Recreation of a holiday scene from a historic Brunswick home at the Brunswick Railroad Museum.

Model trains pass the Montgomery County fair in the historic recreation taking up the top floor of the museum.

Beans in the Belfry is decorated for the season and selling treats like stollen and pfeffernusse.

The cemetery in Burkittsville, made famous by The Blair Witch Project.

Musicians and guests enjoy the afternoon sunshine at the South Mountain Historical Society.

My in-laws pose with Santa in the South Mountain Creamery store.

Beautiful yarn is for sale at Kiparoo Farm...

...made from the wool of the sheep that live there.

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