From A Railway Carriage

[This poem is written by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894). He is a Scottish novelist, poet, and essayist He was born in Edinburgh. His formal education was greatly interrupted by illness, and was frequently taken for holidays. He tried to study engineering, then law. But in 1873, he decided to embark upon a literary career. His novels "Treasure Island" and "Kidnapped" are well known. In another one, "Dr. Jekytt and Mr. Hyde," he shows how every individual has tendencies to do both good and evil He really loved children and understood them. This poem shows his skill as a poet]

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:------------------------------------------  --4

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.----------------------------------------------------------------------- 8

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!---------------------------------------------12

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!--------------------------------------------------------------16
Robert Louis Stevenson

A. Notes:

1. Fairies: beautiful imaginary beings who have magical power.
---witches: wicked old women who could work magic and fly through the air.
2. hedge: a row of bushes or tall plants, forming a boundary.
---ditch: a narrow channel dug in or between fields, or at the side of a road, to hold or carry off water.
3. charge: to attack; here if means to rush forward, move fast.
4. meadow: a grassy field.
6. fly as thick: pass so quickly as if there was no distance between them.
---driving rain: hard, slanting rain.
7. the wink of an eye: the time it takes to shut one eye for a very short time.
8. whistle by: when the fast train goes past a station, a whistling sound is produced.
9. to clamber: to climb with some difficulty.
to scramble: to move with difficulty over rough or steep ground.
10. brambles: thorny bushes which bear the fruit called black berries.
11. tramp: a homeless person who goes from place to place and does no regular work.
12. to string: to make a garland of
daisy: it is one of the commonest wild flowers in Britain.
the green: a grassy common land in a village.
14. to lump: to move heavily and awkwardly.
16. a glimpse: a brief look.



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