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Railroad Rhyme
by
John Godfrey Saxe


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Singing through the forests,
  Rattling over ridges;
Shooting under arches,
  Rumbling over bridges;
Whizzing through the mountains,
  Buzzing o'er the vale, —
Bless me! this is pleasant,

  Riding on the rail!

Men of different “stations”
  In the eye of fame,
Here are very quickly
  Coming to the same;
High and lowly people,
  Birds of every feather,
On a common level,
  Traveling together.

Gentleman in shorts,
  Looming very tall;
Gentleman at large,
  Talking very small;
Gentleman in tights,
  With a loose-ish mien;
Gentleman in gray,
  Looking rather green.

Gentleman quite old,
  Asking for the news,
Gentleman in black,
  In a fit of blues;
Gentleman in claret,
 Sober as a vicar;
Gentleman in Tweed,
  Dreadfully in liquor!

Stranger on the right,
  Looking very sunny,
Obviously reading
  Something rather funny.
Now the smiles are thicker,
  Wonder what they mean!
Faith, he's got the Knicker-
  Bocker Magazine!


Stranger on the left,
  Closing up his peepers;
Now he snores amain,
  Like the Seven Sleepers;
At his feet a volume
  Gives the explanation,
How the man grew stupid
  From “Association”!

Ancient maiden lady
  Anxiously remarks,
That there must be peril
  'Mong so many sparks!
Roguish-looking fellow,
  Turning to the stranger,
Says it's his opinion
  She is out of danger!

Woman with her baby,
  Sitting vis-à-vis;

Baby keeps a-squalling;
  Woman looks at me;
Asks about the distance,
  Says it's tiresome talking,
Noises of the cars
  Are so very shocking!

Market-woman careful
  Of the precious casket,
Knowing eggs are eggs,
  Tightly holds her basket;
Feeling that a smash,
  If it came, would surely
Send her eggs to pot
  Rather prematurely.

Singing through the forests,
  Rattling over ridges;
Shooting under arches,
  Rumbling over bridges;
Whizzing through the mountains,
  Buzzing o'er the vale, —
Bless me! this is pleasant,
  Riding on the rail! 

This poem is in the public domain.

 

 

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

John Godfrey Saxe (1816 –1887) was an American lawyer, satirist, and poet. Born in Vermont to a family of German descent, John was a popular and entertaining speaker, but his various efforts to win political office were mostly unsuccessful. His later years were filled with tragedy and, ultimately, this lively, outgoing public figure succumbed to depression and became a recluse.

 

 

 

 


Post New Comment:
transitions:
Enjoyed it...love trains. A shame such a lively mind came to such a sad end.
Posted 01/13/2017 03:02 PM
cork:
Clickety-Clack!
Posted 01/13/2017 11:00 AM
rhonasheridan:
Wonderful!
Posted 01/13/2017 08:21 AM
Belinda Veldman:
This made me laugh!
Posted 01/13/2017 07:25 AM
Larry Schug:
They just don't write 'em like they used to. Too bad!
Posted 01/13/2017 06:22 AM
blueskies:
Delightful poem Especially so the rhyme with Knicker-Bocker magazine!Thanks John & Jayne.
Posted 01/13/2017 06:07 AM


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