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THE TENDER ENGINE
by
J. Hickory Wood

Oh, he was an Engine, and pulled an Express
He did sixty miles in an hour
An Enginette she - of a size rather less
With rather less speed and less power
He gazed on her fondly at London Bridge Station
And she gazed on him with the same adoration
And they loved - did that Engine and fair Enginette
But on parallel lines they were running
And, although you are clever and cunning
Although you're determined and hard to defeat
You cannot make parallel lines ever meet
So the lordly young Engine and fair Enginette
Never met.

He rushed through the stations at which she must call
With whistle disdainfully vocal
She crawled to them humbly - she called at them all
Because she was only a local
But when they drew up through a block in the traffic
And stood side by side, ‘twas a moment seraphic
Then he panted his love to that fair Enginette
Till the signal went down for expresses
And he left her in tears and distresses
Outside Clapham Junction or Croydon, while he
Was tearing along o'er the downs to the sea
With a sob and a sigh for the fair Enginette
He never met.

He oft would have paused as he passed his love by
But the driver stuck hold of the throttle
He whistled his love, and she sang in reply
A ‘Toot-toot' that no driver could bottle
But, as she ‘Toot-tooted' while hung up at Tooting
To Brighton or Dover he madly was scooting
Away and away from his fair Enginette
For the stoker - that awful love spoiler
Had with steam crowded out his poor boiler
So, though as he travelled he panted and cursed
He had to go on, or his boiler would burst
Far away - far away from his fair Enginette
He never met.

He spurned other tender advances of love
For faithfulness he was a stickler
Till one day there came a thick fog from above
What is known as a “London Pertickler”
A signalman happily pulled the wrong lever
The Engine could see - with his boiler in fever
Quite near - on the same line - the fair Enginette
“No matter!” shrieked he, “Who now suffers,”
And they rushed to each other's fond buffers
In vain did the drivers each put on his brake
They embraced - full of steam - just for love's own sweet sake
So died the young Engine and fair Enginette
When they met.

And this is the moral of my little lyric
Although you may think it a trifle satiric
When you worship a girl from afar
And you think she's an angel above
When she doesn't know what you are
But fancies with you she's in love
If each thinks the other is perfectly sweet
And you want to keep up the delightful deceit
Each go your own ways, and indulge in your visions
If you run on the same lines, you're sure of collisions
Never meet.
 
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