Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Old Postcard Wednesday—Moonlight - Royal Gorge, Colorado


The image of a train making its way in the moonlight at Royal Gorge, Colorado, seemed like a spooky site for Halloween. Come to find out, they actually do have a Halloween train ride there, although in the daytime, and a few days prior to Halloween. It has already happened this year, but you might want to keep it in mind for next year so here's the information from Royal Gorge Route Railroad:
Trick or Treat Train

All aboard the Royal Gorge Route’s Halloween "Trick or Treat" Train where costumed guests and staff take a spooky two-hour excursion complete with special treats and a pumpkin patch ending where children are free to pick their favorite. You may even catch a glimpse of the ghost of the Santa Fe Depot, believed to be an old railroader from the 1870’s war of the Royal Gorge. Call 1.888.724.5748 to book your Coach or Vista Dome tickets today. Or book below in either Coach or Vista Dome on the 12:30 PM departure on October 27th and 28th. Please bring the kids dressed in costume with a treat bag and enjoy the train ride & pumpkin patch.

Sounds like a fun time on the train. A bit more family-friendly than the one described in the poem below. It might send you running so I will wish you a Happy Halloween now before you begin reading!

THE HELL BOUND TRAIN

A Texas cowboy lay down on a barroom floor,
 Having drunk so much he could drink no more;
 So he fell asleep with a troubled brain
 To dream that he rode on a hell-bound train.

The engine with murderous blood was damp
 And was brilliantly lit with a brimstone lamp;
 An imp, for fuel, was shoveling bones,
 While the furnace rang with a thousand groans.

The boiler was filled with lager beer
 And the devil himself was the engineer;
 The passengers were a most motley crew-
 Church member, atheist, Gentile, and Jew,

Rich men in broad cloth, beggars in rags,
 Handsome young ladies, and withered old hags,
 Yellow and black men, red, brown, and white,
 All chained together-O God, what a sight!

While the train rushed on at an awful pace-
 The sulphurous fumes scorched their hands and face;
 Wider and wider the country grew,
 As faster and faster the engine flew.
 Louder and louder the thunder crashed
 And brighter and brighter the lightning flashed;
Hotter and hotter the air became
 Till the clothes were burned from each quivering frame.

 And out of the distance there arose a yell,
 "Ha, ha," said the devil, "we're nearing hell"
Then oh, how the passengers all shrieked with pain
 And begged the devil to stop the train.
 But he capered about and danced for glee,
 And laughed and joked at their misery.
 "My faithful friends, you have done the work
 And the devil never can a payday shirk.

 "You've bullied the weak, you've robbed the poor,
 The starving brother you've turned from the door;
 You've laid up gold where the canker rust,
 And have given free vent to your beastly lust.
 "You've justice scorned, and corruption sown,
 And trampled the laws of nature down.
 You have drunk, rioted, cheated, plundered, and lied,
And mocked at God in your hell-born pride.

 "You have paid full fare, so I'll carry you through,
 For it's only right you should have your due.
 Why, the laborer always expects his hire,
So I'll land you safe in the lake of fire,

"Where your flesh will waste in the flames that roar,
 And my imps torment you forevermore."
 Then the cowboy awoke with an anguished cry,
 His clothes wet with sweat and his hair standing high.

 Then he prayed as he never had prayed till that hour
 To be saved from his sin and the demon's power;
 And his prayers and his vows were not in vain,
For he never rode the hell-bound train.

-Anonymous

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5 comments:

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

so firstly - i have to respond to the poem with one from William Topaz McGonnagle, famously recorded as the worst poet and immortalized more recently when JK Rowling stole his surname for a character in those books about wizards:

The Tay Bridge Disaster

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

’Twas about seven o’clock at night,
And the wind it blew with all its might,
And the rain came pouring down,
And the dark clouds seem’d to frown,
And the Demon of the air seem’d to say-
“I’ll blow down the Bridge of Tay.”

When the train left Edinburgh
The passengers’ hearts were light and felt no sorrow,
But Boreas blew a terrific gale,
Which made their hearts for to quail,
And many of the passengers with fear did say-
“I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay.”

But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,
Boreas he did loud and angry bray,
And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

So the train sped on with all its might,
And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sight,
And the passengers’ hearts felt light,
Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,
With their friends at home they lov’d most dear,
And wish them all a happy New Year.

So the train mov’d slowly along the Bridge of Tay,
Until it was about midway,
Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!
The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,
Because ninety lives had been taken away,
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

As soon as the catastrophe came to be known
The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,
And the cry rang out all o’er the town,
Good Heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,
And a passenger train from Edinburgh,
Which fill’d all the peoples hearts with sorrow,
And made them for to turn pale,
Because none of the passengers were sav’d to tell the tale
How the disaster happen’d on the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Secondly - i have a bit of a grudge to air here for the USA and specifically for ET The Extra Terrestrial - because prior to that film we had barely heard of Trick Or Treating in the UK - and now i can look forward to a good three hours of kids i don't know demanding sweets with menaces :)

Fortunately, as i usually do, i have made excuses to be out

Still - i like your train poem and postcard

Lydia said...

Pixies~ I learn so much from your comments! That poem is a.mazing and interesting about the name connection with those books about wizards.

I was stunned to read that you in the UK did not have Trick or Treating until after seeing it in ET. What a kick to think that it was passed on via a movie. That means you never went Trick or Treating when you were a little boy. How sad! It really was such fun (much more fun than buying/handing out candy as an adult).

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Always look forward to your old postcards. You must have quite a collection. Especially liked this one as Halloween is my favorite holiday.-- barbara

Lydia said...

Folkways~ How nice of you to tell me you look forward to OPW and that you liked this Halloween one! My collection, honestly, is running low. I must organize myself to sell some in order to buy more!

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