The Muse Among the Motors

The Inventor

R. W. Emerson

Rudyard Kipling

TIME and Space decreed his lot,
    But little Man was quick to note:
When Time and Space said Man might not,
    Bravely he answered, “Nay! I mote.”

I looked on old New England.
    Time and Space stood fast.
Men built altars to Distance
    At every mile they passed.

Yet sleek with oil, a Force was hid
Making mock of all they did,
Ready at the appointed hour
     To yield up to Prometheus
The secular and well-drilled Power
    The Gods secreted thus.

And over high Wantastiquer
    Emulous my lightnings ran,
Unregarded but afret,
    To fall in with my plan.

I beheld two ministries,
    One of air and one of earth—
At a thought I married these,
     And my New Age came to birth!

For rarely my purpose errs
    Though oft it seems to pause,
And rods and cylinders
    Obey my planets’ laws.

Oil I drew from the well,
    And Franklin’s spark from its blue;
Time and Distance fell,
    And Man went forth anew.

On the prairie and in the street
    So long as my chariots roll
I bind wings to Adam’s feet,
    And, presently, to his soul!

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