The Baggage Wagon

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The Baggage Wagon
by Ethel Lynn Beers
published in: Vindicator (1872); "All Quiet Along The Potomac, and Other Poems (1879) OCLC 1306531all editions

In from the ferry's pulsing door,
  In by the railroad gate,
Comes all day long the baggage home,
  Mighty in size and weight.

Trunks with their canvass quite unfurled;
  Boxes in woeful trim,
With garments dried in country sun,
  Tumbled and tossed within.

Under the locks what finery
  Lies travel-stained and worn;
Limp muslins with the sea kiss on,
  Flounces on fences torn.

(For how could Kitty stop to think
  Of dress on sea-sand wet,
When Fred was whispering the while
  A vow she don't forget?

Or how could Lily spare her flounces.
  Scrambling in breathles(s) fright,
When silvertop was coming near
  To woe her, if he might?)

Methinks mamma will open wide
  Her pretty eyes to see
How schoolboy Fred has packed his trunk
  With trophies recklessly:

Risking, by Bramah Poofra eggs,
  The shine of Sunday clothes;
A tortoise in the collar box,
  Bird's nests on satin bows.

But oh! there's baggage coming home
  In yonder jostled pile;
Packed, outward bound, not long ago,
  With jest and happy smile;

Seeking our now stricken heart,
  Hands that shall softly move
The folded garments with the touch
  We give to things we love.



O solemn garments, needed not!
   O childish treasures, dearer far
For wear of little baby hands
   Than jewels newly burnished are!

O empty glove and kerchief smooth!
  O idle shoe that treads no more
Life's measure to the tune of Time!
  O treasures dropped on Jordan's shore!

I dream to-day as dreamers must;
  I see dim shadows come,
Claiming their own with smile and tear
  As noisy wheels bring baggage home.