Robert Louis Stevenson

(1850-1894 / Edinburgh / Scotland)

From A Railway Carriage - Poem by 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!


Comments about From A Railway Carriage by Robert Louis Stevenson

  • Gold Star - 4,863 Points Pranab K Chakraborty (3/5/2015 11:42:00 PM)

    Extraordinary speed implied so...so skilfully within space between words, Marvelous. Lucidity the main criteria to communicate the flying expression...may it be the conscious withdrawal from the existing material world. Unique and unique forever.
    Pranab k c (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 19,315 Points Kim Barney (3/5/2015 5:17:00 PM)

    Captivating is how I would describe it. On reading the first line I thought it was a poem just for children, but I must be a child at heart because I was caught up in the magic of this one. The words fit together almost like the sound of the train itself, moving down the line. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 293 Points Nancy Oyula (3/5/2015 3:00:00 PM)

    His choice of words makes everything flow well. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 9,418 Points Khairul Ahsan (3/5/2015 12:40:00 PM)

    I read this poem first time at my high school. I liked it then and I like it now. I memorized it then and the first eight lines are still in my memory. I was impressed by the good rhyme and descriptive sequence of the poem. (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,852 Points John Richter (3/5/2015 11:52:00 AM)

    True, a tribute to railways indeed - the adolescence of what we might call civilization. More amazing to me, and I think more telling of Stevenson's mindset - is that he experienced these things first hand. They are not simply lines in a poem. It was a time when the majority of America's land was either farmland or untouched wilderness. His remark about charging troops excites me, because as a teenager and young man he would have seen troop movements through those lands and towns during the Civil War. When he said like charging troops I think he was more expressing a memory than developing metaphor. And I would say each line would fall under that same rule. How magical, wonderful this poem is when we visualize the things he saw, hard, felt, touched, and smelled.... Keats once said 'Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one’s soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject.....' And this is what makes Mr. Stevenson and his vision quite breath taking to me. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 14,031 Points Rajnish Manga (3/5/2015 4:51:00 AM)

    It is a great tribute to the Railways that revolutionized traveling to distant places during its existence of the century and a half on the global platform. The poem reminds us of our most enjoyable journeys ever undertaken by us. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,446 Points Somanathan Iyer (8/31/2014 6:46:00 AM)

    this is the poem I studied in fifth class. The first two lines always comes to my memory whenever I feel happy or sad. A cherished poem for ever. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 60 Points Thomas Vaughan Jones (2/24/2014 2:14:00 PM)

    Grab a ticket and enjoy the ride. This is onomatopoeia at it's best. Listen to the music of the poem, the rhythm of the wheels, sway with the movement of the carriage, and simply enjoy the view. Intellectuals would no doubt dissect this piece and discuss the transition of time and the fleeting existence of we mere mortals. I prefer to enjoy the sheer exhuberance of the poem (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sarah Kirk (12/15/2009 8:32:00 AM)

    One of my favourites along with 'Night Mail'. The rhythm really reflects the sound of the steam train and views from the window seen on frequent childhood journesy by steam train. (Report) Reply

Read all 9 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: river, rain, child, green, horse, house, fairy, children



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



[Hata Bildir]