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From a Railway Carriage
by
Robert Louis Stevenson


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Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.
Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And here is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart runaway in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill, and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone forever!

 

This poem is in the public domain.

 

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Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) is, for many of us, the first poet to whom we were introduced, through his wonderful book, A Child’s Garden of Verses. Though he came from a family of engineers and it was expected he would follow suit, Robert wrote stories even as a child; no one was really surprised when, three years into his engineering studies at the University of Edinburgh, he abandoned them to study writing. Always an avid traveller, despite lifelong poor health, Robert spent much of his life looking for a place to live that offered some respite from his illnesses. A prolific writer of poetry, fiction (Kidnapped, Treasure Island, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide are his best known), travelogues, and political essays, he is properly revered today as a major literary figure, although in the early twentieth century, he was temporarily dismissed and disdained as "a children's author." Ultimately, Robert ending up living in Samoa, happy and productive until a stroke abruptly ended his life at the age of 44. 

 

 


New comments are closed for now.
Jean :D:
I missed this poem yesterday, & when growing up. We were raised with nightly bedtime stories by RLS, mainly the poem variety. This is so good cause I too love trains.
Posted 04/29/2017 10:35 AM
Jancan:
A lovely, lively, excellent poem--rhymed and metered, the way I like 'em! Janice
Posted 04/28/2017 12:55 AM
blueskies:
The cadence/pulse of this shining poem is captivating! Thanks,Jayne. And RLS,too. Smiles.
Posted 04/27/2017 06:50 PM
Ladyleo191:
I was introduced to this poem by a favorite teacher. she had us pay attention to the sounds of the train wheels and tracks as she read it aloud.
Posted 04/27/2017 05:48 PM
KevinArnold:
RLS captures the new power given to us humans by the Railroads. What a different time we live in now with airplanes. Wouldn't it be great to evoke that wonder for this generation, but it's different now somehow.
Posted 04/27/2017 09:18 AM
paradea:
Love Robert Louis Stevenson!
Posted 04/27/2017 09:10 AM
cork:
Choo-choo!
Posted 04/27/2017 08:55 AM
rhonasheridan:
I've loved this poem for years. Thank you so much for for using it. It's such fun.
Posted 04/27/2017 04:33 AM


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