Transatlantic Cable 13 – The Future

maiden lane
View of Broadway, north from Cortlandt and Maiden Lane, 1885

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Transatlantic Cable 13 – The Future

I write you once again, my love,
By paper and by boat.
The old-fashioned way’s
The only way you’ll ever get my note.

But have you heard,
A telegraph now spans between we two ?
Is this the modern world, my love,
The endless chase for something new ?

Though sometimes, when I think how long
We take to send our hearts’ desires,
I fancy, on the breeze, that angels sing
Along those wires –

Pensmiths, calling pensmiths,
What you write today,
You’ll get to say tomorrow –
Calling pensmiths from across the globe,
Your words shall span and probe,
This time tomorrow.
We shall gladly carry all your distant precious words,
The small, the silly and absurd,
From off your lips to willing ears –
Allying fears that letters reach too slow –
Come tomorrow.


It’s hardly for the likes of us, my love,
Who must still write –
No spark or semaphore will speed
These words as fast as light.

I cannot see how just one simple cable
Can unite us all.
Messages are paper still and boats,
For those whose means are small.

And yet, so many weeks until
Your next reply can stoke my fires,
If only, on the breeze the angels sang
Along the wires –

Scribers, calling scribers,
What you write today,
Shall fly away tomorrow –
Calling scribers from across the sea,
Your words are bounding free
This time tomorrow.
We shall gladly carry ev’ry distant precious thought,
The playful and the overwrought,
That bring their homes to foreign parts,
Assuring hearts that letter reach too slow –
Come tomorrow.

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