The Displaced Persons Song | Thomas Pynchon, 1973












If you see a train this evening,
Far away against the sky,
Lie down in your wooden blanket,
Sleep, and let the train go by.

Trains have called us, every midnight,
From a thousand miles away,
Trains that pass through empty cities,
Trains that have no place to stay.

No one drives the locomotive,
No one tends the staring light,
Trains have never needed riders,
Trains belong to bitter night.

Railway stations stand deserted,
Rights-of-way lie clear and cold:
What we left them trains inherit,
Trains go on, and we grow old.

Let them cry like cheated lovers,
Let their cries find only wind.
Trains are meant for night and ruin.
We are meant for song and sin.


Thomas Pynchon, 
Gravity’s Rainbow, 1973


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