THE TALE OF OLD SETH
This is the tale of Old Seth
an engineman on the Chesapeake
rode from Richmond to Ohio
and back two times a week
lately confined in a twilight home
in Wannesboro he dwelt
just keeping to himself most times
the card that destiny dealt.
The doctors reck'ned he'd lost his mind
just sat there looking out,
somedays his eyes would screw right up
other times he'd shout
but mostly he just cursed and spat
and very seldom smiled,
no one knew his reasoning
nor why he got so riled.
Apparently one restless night
he trashed his room and went
packed his clothes for the winter snows
at the time of a wolves' lament.
No trace of Seth was found for a while,
but on a frosty morning
a hunter was out at Shenandoah
just as the sun was dawning.
He lined his sights on a vulture venue
wheeling and circling round
where a tunnel went through a rocky pass
as they hovered near the ground.
The rifleman was curious
so he climbed a bit aways
then a timber trestle bridge came clear
in the morning's early haze.
With no particular press of time
he scrambled up the side
to where a trackbed stretched right out
in weeds and rust run wide.
There a lofty signal post
was bleaching in the air
and on the ground was a man propped up
The state police soon checked him out
Seth's face had nearly gone,
those vultures don't have no respect
for what they feast upon.
The engineman had finished up
just riding out his past
when his loco pressure went right up
no water in the glass.
The twilight home went into shock
but soon his room was taken,
'cause life and death go on I guess
and the dead you can't awaken.
No one knows what drove him there
his secrets unexposed,
and the old men die
new life passes on
to the young and unopposed.