The Stuffed Owl

The Railway Boom, 1845

New schemes, not even dream’d of once before,
Were lauded loudly, puff’d off even more
Than e’en the grand trunk-system that imparts
Connection to our chief commercial marts.
Nor was this MANIA, this eccentric roar,
Confined alone within Britannia’s shore;
It made its way at that eventful time
To every land without respect to clime.
Vast were the schemes that now came forth in France,
Though not so wont in Britain’s wake t’ advance.
Europe was smitten to the very core,
And thence the MANIA raged from shore to shore:
East and West Indies groan’d ’neath the disease,
Its virulence uncheck’d by rolling seas.
Nay, e’en Van Dieman’s Land and New South Wales
Determined, like the rest, to have their rails.