The Benefits Of Electricity

By Hilaire Belloc

Awake, my Muse! Portray the pleasing sight. That meets us where they make Electric Light.
Behold the Electrician where he stands. Soot, oil, and verdigris are on his hands;
Large spots of grease defile his dirty clothes,
The while his conversation drips with oaths.
Shall such a being perish in its youth?
Alas! It is indeed the fatal truth.
In that dull brain, beneath that hair unkempt,
Familiarity has bred contempt.
We warn him of the gesture all too late:
Oh, Heartless Jove! Oh, Adamantine Fate!
Some random touch – a hand’s imprudent slip –
The Terminals – a flash – a sound like ‘Zip!’
A smell of burning fills the startled Air –
The Electrician is no longer there!

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