From the Railway Carriage

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!

        Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson

  • He is a 19th century Scottish novelist, poet and travel writer.
  • His notable works are Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and A Child’s Garden of Verses.
  • He is currently ranked as the 26th-most-translated author in the world.
  • Stevenson was born at Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • Stevenson was the only son of Thomas Stevenson, a prosperous civil engineer, and his wife, Margaret Isabella Balfour.
  • Stevenson developed a desire to write early in life, having no interest in the family business of lighthouse engineering.
  • He was often abroad, usually for health reasons.
  • His first printed work is The Pentland Rising.
  • During his years at the university he rebelled against his parents’ religion and set himself up as a liberal bohemian who abhorred the alleged cruelties and hypocrisies of bourgeois.
  • Stevenson traveled often, and his global wanderings contributed to his fiction.
  • He was often abroad, usually for health reasons.
  • His first literary volume, An Inland Voyage published at the age of 28.
  • An Inland Voyage contains his trip from Antwerp to northern France.
  • It was followed by a companion work, Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes (1879).
  • This period produced the humorous essays of Virginibus Puerisque and Other Papers (1881), which were originally published from 1876 to 1879 in various magazines.
  • Stevenson’s first book of short fiction is New Arabian Nights (1882).
  • He met the woman who would become his wife, Fanny Osbourne, in September 1876.
  • She was a 36-year-old American who was separated and had two children.
  • The two married in 1880, and remained together until Stevenson’s death in 1894.
  • Stevensons took a three-week honeymoon at an abandoned silver mine in Napa Valley, California, from that travel emerged the work The Silverado Squatters (1883).
  • Stevenson’s other short stories are Thrawn Janet (1881), The Treasure of Franchard (1883) and Markheim (1885).
  • He suffered from hemorrhaging lungs. While in this bedridden state, he wrote some of his most popular fiction, most notably Treasure Island (1883), Kidnapped (1886), Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) and The Black Arrow (1888).
  • Stevenson died of a stroke on December 3, 1894, at his home in Vailima, Samoa.
  • He was buried at the top of Mount Vaea, overlooking the sea.
  • From a Railway Carriage is a poem written by Robert Louis Stevenson.
  • This poem is taken from his book A Child’s Garden of Verses.
  • In this poem poet shares his experience of a railway journey with us.
  • He presents natural scenes seen from the window of a railway carriage.
  • Poet says that train runs more quickly than the fairies can fly or the witches can move.
  • When train moves forward it seems as the soldiers are attacking enemy in a battle field.
  • The train rushes on leaving bridges, houses, fences and ditches behind.
  • It also leaves behind the green fields where horses and Cattle are grazing.
  • Through the window of compartment of train buildings of stations were seemed as painted pictures.
  • Poet says that from the window of the compartment of train he sees a child climbing a steep ground by himself with much difficulty.
  • The child was also gathering black berries during climbing.
  • Then he sees a homeless person who was looking at the train with amazement.
  • He also sees some ladies in a common village grassy land, they were making garlands of daisy flowers.
  • He sees a cart moving slowly in the middle of a highway it was full of load and the cart driver was sitting on the top of the load.
  • Then He gets a glimpse a water mill and river.
  • All these objects appeared and then disappeared so quickly that poet looked at them for very brief time and they can never be seen again.
  • In short this poem is an experience of a railway journey through the rhythm of verse.
  • The rhythm of the poem echoes the rhythm of the train.
  • The title “From a Railway Carriage” captures the essence of the poem.
  • poem communicates the poet’s observations and thoughts in a train journey.
  • The joy that we get from travelling is the major theme of the poem.
  • Beauty of nature is another theme as poet describes each and every natural scenes.
  • Poet focuses on social condition especially poverty.
  • Poet uses rhyming couplets in this poem.
  • “faster than fairies”, “houses, hedges” are examples of alliteration used in this poem.
  • “like troops in a battle”, “fly as thick as driving rain” are similes used by the poet.
  • Another literary device used by poet is Assonance

          Eg: “All of the sights of the hill and the plain”

         “Fly as thick as driving rain”

  • Through this poem he presents realistic images of society. It is a lifelike description of society.
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