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From a Railway Carriage
Robert Louis Stevenson


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.


Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894) was a Scottish author whose gift for writing ranged from poetry and fiction to travelogues and essays. For many of us, Stevenson was perhaps the first poet to whom we were introduced, through his wonderful book, A Child's Garden of Verses. We may have encountered him again in our youth, in the exotic pages of Kidnapped, Treasure Island, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Always sickly, Robert left his beloved Scotland and spent the latter half of his life in the kinder climate of the South Sea islands. He died much too young and is buried in Samoa, where his tomb is engraved with lines from his poem, "Requiem:" "Under the wide and starry sky/dig the grave and let me lie."




Post New Comment:
mark kenny:
On Friday we took our 2 year old grandson to the Watercress Line to travel on a train pulled by a steam loco for the first time.He was completely overawed by the experience and was transfixed looking out of the carriage window seeing the smoke,farm animals, traffic on the road,pouring rain and hearing the sounds of the engine. I remembered this poem from my childhood so will type it out and frame it with a photo we took of him gazing out of the carriage window. Next week the London Transport Museum when it reopens. Mark Kenny
Posted 08/31/2020 05:16 AM
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
A lovely, lively, excellent poem--rhymed and metered, the way I like 'em! Janice
Posted 04/28/2017 12:55 AM
The cadence/pulse of this shining poem is captivating! Thanks,Jayne. And RLS,too. Smiles.
Posted 04/27/2017 06:50 PM
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
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
Love Robert Louis Stevenson!
Posted 04/27/2017 09:10 AM
Posted 04/27/2017 08:55 AM
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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