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.

    1. 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. :-)

    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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