Poem for George – who loves trains!

georgetrain1From a Railway Carriage
Stevenson, Robert Louis (1850–1894).
A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods 1913.

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 there is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart run away in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill and there is a river
Each a glimpse and gone for ever!

3 thoughts on “Poem for George – who loves trains!

  1. Vivster, I love this poem. My father read it to me as a child and I brought my 2 sons and 3 grandsons up on it. You can just see the pictures as you read the words. Somewhere, I have a picture that my eldest son (now 54) drew of what he saw in the poem when he was about 7.

    • Hi Athalie,
      Thank you for your wonderful comments here. This poem was read to me when I was about that age at school by ‘Mr Cooper’ a wonderful teacher. It had then and still does evoke the strongest images in the mind you can ever imagine. So much so that I not only ‘remembered’ it from then I became, like my father and my partner Richard romantic steam railway enthusiasts. I hope that our son George who is only four, who even now loves trains will appreciate it as much as you and I do. I would love to see your picture by the way. :-) Viv

  2. Another poem about trains that I love from a poet of a similar era that I thought you might also be familiar with/like. :-)

    Adlestrop
    Poet Edward Thomas 1878–1917

    Yes. I remember Adlestrop—
    The name, because one afternoon
    Of heat the express-train drew up there
    Unwontedly. It was late June.

    The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
    No one left and no one came
    On the bare platform. What I saw
    Was Adlestrop—only the name

    And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
    And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
    No whit less still and lonely fair
    Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

    And for that minute a blackbird sang
    Close by, and round him, mistier,
    Farther and farther, all the birds
    Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

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