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U.S. Navy, 1898
By Rob S. Rice

There was an era, long ago...
Steam and the rifled gun.
Of coaling ship, torpedo nets...
An Empire, in the sun...

The Oregon, in pride and might
Came roaring up the coast...
The Brooklyn, painted blinding white,
Not even, now, a ghost.

Is Sampson now at peace with Schley?
Are Dewey's laurels green?
Will Hobson soon get underweigh?
Did Gridley still die keen?

The monitors, torpedo boats,
The ships for 'Coast Defense'
And months outside a Cuban port,
First boredom, then suspense.

Where lurks now the Vesuvius?
Which Texas is at Sea?
I wonder and try to recall
What things once used to be.
An ode to a vanished era of steam, iron, and guns
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October 13, 2013
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