Oh, who in creation would fail to descend
That wonderful hole in the ground? -
That, feeling its way like a hypocrite-friend
In sinuous fashion, seems never to end;
While thunder and lightning abound.
Oh, who in creation would dare to go down
That great subterranean hole -
The tunnel, the terror, the talk of the town,
That gives to the city a mighty renown
And a shaking as never before?
A serpent, a spider, its mouth at the top
Where the flies are all buzzing about;
Down into its maw where the populace drop,
Who never know where they are going to stop,
Or whether they'll ever get out.
Why is it, with millions of acres untrod
Where never the ploughshare hath been,
That man must needs burrow miles under the sod,
As if to get farther and farther from God,
And deeper and deeper in sin?
O Dagos and diggers, who can't understand
That the planet you'll never get through -
Why, there is three times as much water as land,
And but for the least little seam in the sand
Your life is worth less than a sou.
Come up out of Erebus into the day,
There's plenty of room overhead;
No boring or blasting of rocks in the way,
No stratum of sticky, impervious clay -
All vacuous vapor instead.
Oh, give us a transit, a tube or an "el - ",
Not leagues from the surface below;
As if we were never in Heaven to dwell,
As if we were all being fired to - well,
The place where we don't want to go!