This poem was discovered by the late Dr. Charles M. Snyder of SUNY Oswego, a biographer of Dewitt C. Littlejohn, promoter and first president of the New York & Oswego Midland RR, the O&W's predecessor. It was first published in the Oxford Press, probably in the 1868 time period during construction of the NY&OM.
"I will go from the lakes," he said. "From the lakes to the great sea shore. "Right through the heart of the Empire State. "You shall hear the engines' roar."
"There are hills between," they said. "I will bridge the deep ravine, "You shall hear the tread of the iron horse "Through your hills and valleys, I ween."
"Oswego on Ontario's Lake "Shall reach forth her hands and say, "To Oxford and Norwich, 'Good morrow, friends "Pray give a call some day.' "
"New Berlin, DeRuyter and Delhi, too "We will reach by the iron band. "And to many a fair town on the way "We will give a good right hand."
"And where will you get your cash," they said. "And where is your strongbox, pray. "You can't expect to find the gold "Scattered along the way?"
"We shall find the cash on the way," he said. "The farmers good and true-- "Will give their cash and bond their towns "To pull the railroad through."
"And what will you call your pet?" they said "And what shall its title be? "Your wonderful railway that shall bring "Oswego to the sea?"
"The Midland, sirs, for it shall take "New York by a willing hand "And wed her to Oswego fair "By a mystic iron band."
"Well, when we hear the engines' puff "And hear the roar of the coming train "Then we'll believe in your Midland road "But your words seem idle and vain."
"We have heard the puff of the iron horse "We have heard the roar of the train. "And we know the Midland is a fact "And ours the words so vain."
Old Shawangunk may lift her head And hurl her rocks in vain. She shall hear the tread of the iron horse And the roar of the coming train.
And proud New York, with open arms In eighteen seventy-three; Shall greet her sister from the lakes With a welcome glad and free.