"Can you hear me now, John" said the voice in my ear
"In God's name, give me a sign
For the rumble of wheels, I swear it grows near
And the sound brings a chill to my spine
Through the broken windshield, the world looks all wrong
But it's us, not the world, turned sideward
And this ain't the county two-lane that we're on, it's the tracks of the Burlington Northern."
"See the wide, crooked trail down the muddy bank, John,
Now the broken brush clings to the ground
See the eyes that the light each second fades from
And the two twisted arms hanging down
See the black mesh of wire, the tangle of steel
That traps us together inside
And hear these last, true words I reveal
For I know this night I must die."
"She came with a hand of kindness outstretched
In the time of my heart's deepest need
But as day turned to night, and kindness to flesh
Our bodies trembled with greed
And when the first rays of the morning crept in
The memory of another had died
But by the ring that she wore, I knew I had sinned
And I knelt before Jesus and cried."
"You've been like a brother since I was young
Your love has been constant and true
Oh, the moments we've shared are numberless, John
And my hours with her so few
A hand rises now to summon my soul
And the black depths before me loom
Just forgive me this wrong I've done you, my friend
And I'll go in peace to my doom.
Then breathless with joy came the voice in my ear:
"Straight ahead of us, John, can you see?
At the top of the hill, in the moonlight so clear
A man walks alone through the trees
Like a lamp to the lost, God's mercy shines down
Now deliverance lies just within sight
sound the horn, sound the horn, dear John, do it now
Don't sit there and stare at the night."
A blanket of calm lies draped o'er this earth to shroud all misery and toil
But below us, still red with the blood of its birth, a blaze of pure fury uncoils
As vengeful as hands on a crippled man's throat
Silently tightening their hold
As sure as the path of the 5:19
As down through the valley it rolls.