Neptune to the Mermaids.
Avast, there nor swing on that cable,
You mischievous maidens, avast!
And I’ll tell you as well as I’m able,
Why that rope in the sea hath been cast.
‘Tis a link of electric connection
Between the New World and the Old;
‘Twill strengthen each tie of affection,
Give each nation on each firmer hold.
Small fear of their fuming or fighting,
While they join hands thus under the sea;
While an instant will serve for the righting
Of any wrong heads that may be.
All the close ties of commerce ‘twill tighten,
To enterprise lead a sure aid;
Many burdens on industry lighten,
And help to make freer Free Trade,
Every spark that is flashed thro’ that cable
Of friendship will light a new flame
Nor a day pass but each land be able
Of union fresh proop to proclaim.
Doubt, distrust, envy, hatred, and malice,
All will vanish; peace, goodwill, appear;
So avast, there, you Polly and Alive,
And mind that ‘ere cable’s kept clear!
Title:Neptune to the Mermaids (from Punch)
Date:August 3rd 1865
This Punch poem celebrates the laying of a new transatlantic cable in 1865 which was an improvement on previous attempts, notably in 1858. Although it is couched in slightly comic mythical terms, one can see from the poem that there was a general feeling that increases communication would lead to greater chances of peace and prosperity in the future. This poem comes just a few months after peace in the American Civil War, and during a time of conscientious rebuilding of the world economy. – SR>