The Man with the Hoe

About these roaring cylinders
Where leaping words and paper mate,
A sudden glory moves and stirs—
An inky cataract in spate!

What voice for falsehood or for truth,
What hearts attentive to be stirred—
How dimly understood, in sooth,
The power of the printed word!

These flashing webs and cogs of steel
Have shaken empires, routed kings,
Yet never turn too fast to feel
The tragedies of humble things.

O words, be strict in honesty,
Be just and simple and serene;
O rhymes, sing true, or you will be
Unworthy of this great machine.
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