Transatlantic Cable 12 – The Messages

The Progress of the Century by Nathaniel Currier

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Transatlantic Cable 12 – The Messages

Ten full transmissions each hour, each way –
That’s four-hundred-eighty transmissions each day –
Four-hundred-eighty, and what will they say ?

Good news and bad news and news that can’t wait,
Tidings and greetings and offers and meetings,
And orders and pledges and threats and debate,
Departures, arrivals, and lovers and rivals.

Ten full transmissions each hour, each way,
Of profits and prices and projects and pay,
With no words misspoken or scattered astray.

Old news and new news and news of the world,
Battles, elections and plagues and infections,
As fast as the lightning, each message is hurled,
And back comes each answer – an undersea dancer.

Ten full transmissions each hour, each way,
Through storm and through snow and through come-all-what-may,
With no need to worry and no need to pray.

What hath God wrought, they asked, what hath God wrought ?
Nation to nation in communication.
So is this the peace the philosophers sought ?
No need to be shy, just send your reply.

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“What have God wrought” was the first one of the first telegrams sent by Samuel Morse in 1844.

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