Enchanted Machines                                                                                                   
The Slave of the Lamp that Aladdin once treasured
Wrought wonders of magical skill,
Yet all of his marvels to-day are outmeasured
By Jinn who are mightier still.
Our Jinn are the slaves of a switch or a lever.
Who serve amid workaday scenes,
Who steadily, tirelessly, toil on forever-
Uncanny, Enchanted Machines.

They fashion our needles, they spin our steel cables
They roll the great girders and rails;
They turn, build and polish our chairs and our tables;
They stamp out our kettles and pails.
They banish the dark at the touch of a finger,
They bake us our bread and our beans;
They never rebel and they never malinger,
Our slaves-the Enchanted Machines.

They spin, weave, and finish the clothes we are clad in;
They multiply, add, and subtract;
They make every dream of the fabled Aladdin
A tangible, commonplace fact.
The plowing is done and the broad fields are planted
By laborers builded of steel.
Who work with a strength and a cunning enchanted
No Slave of the Lamp could reveal!

Enchanted, in fact, with the only true magic-
The magic that lives in the Brain,
By which man has banished his drudgery tragic,
The sweat and the toil and the strain,
 The magic that, seeking new visions, new courses,
Knows not what "Impossible" means,
The magic that harnesses infinite forces
And builds these Enchanted Machines!

Published in: The American Magazine - May 1926

© 2000-2006, Berton Braley Cyber Museum.
All rights reserved.
Contact Webmaster Peter Leeflang