John Godfrey Saxe

(1816-1887 / the United States)

Rhyme Of The Rail - Poem by John Godfrey Saxe

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-a-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
Sent 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!


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, September 16, 2010



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