The Immigrants by Brian Quinn

The year was 1889,
And the rail-gang paused to rest.
The sun was hot, the men were tired
As they laid rail-tracks to the West.


One of the gang wiped his sweating brow,
His name was Paddy Joe.
He had worked on the gang for twenty years
And the wear was beginning to show.

The railroad president was in his train,
He was out to inspect the rails.
And his train stopped behind Paddy’s gang,
And he descended to welcoming hails.

The president paused and said a few words,
And he thanked the railroad crew.
Then his eyes caught the eyes of Paddy Joe,
And he winked, that’s all he could do.

Then Paddy Joe said to his neighbor,
“That man up there could be me.
We both left Ireland on the very same boat,
And together we crossed the sea.”

“We both started out as laborers,
And I took my pay and had fun.
But Michael there had a big vision,
He wanted a railroad to run.”

Brian Quinn


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