This poem talks about a train ride. The poet is in a railway carriage and he describes the things he observes during his ride. He sees all these things very briefly because of how fast the train is. The poem is divided into four stanzas. The rhyme scheme of each stanza is abcb-defe.

Stanza 1- 2

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.

The poet describes his experience while travelling on a train. He says that the train is faster than mythical creatures like fairies and witches. The train rushes past bridges and houses, hedges and ditchesAll through the meadows, horses and cattle charge along like troops in a battle. The poet talks about the scenery and the creatures that he can see through the train windows. The horses and cattle seem like soldiers charging into battle. All the sights of hills and plains fly as thick as driving rain. The train is so fast that it makes everything outside look like rain. And in the wink of an eye, painted stations whistle by. The train goes past colourful stations very quickly.

Stanza 3- 4

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!

The poet describes the scenes he sees outside the train. A child moves awkwardly all by himself and gets prickly shrubs or brambles on his body. A tramp stands and gazes somewhere. There are also some people who are stringing daisies into garlands in a green meadow. He also sees a cart lumping along the road with man and load. He sees a mill and a river too. He only catches a glimpse of every one of these scenes, and then they are gone for ever. The poet can only see everything for a tiny second because of the speed of the train.


A train ride is indeed a wonderful journey. The speed of the train makes it seem like everything is rushing past us. We catch glimpses of many different things and activities when we look at the view from a railway carriage.