The Centrifugal Governor

Balls! with which Stephenson has tamed the steam
and harnessed it to do the work of man,
small as you are, each flywheel, shaft and beam
is subject to your governance, your plan.

Some, in their innocence, were unimpressed.
'A top, a whirligig, a childish gift,
a bagatelle', they said, but little guessed:
the faster you revolve, the more you lift.

And even as you rise, you stem the flow
through cylinder and piston, ease the thrust
on cam and bearing, mollify the show
to dignified decorum, as needs must.


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