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From A Railway Carriage

From A 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 forever!


- Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (13 Nov 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, musician and travel writer. His famous works are ‘Treasure Island’, ‘Kidnapped’, ‘Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde’ and ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’.


Glossary

Charge - To make a rush at or sudden attack upon a person or thing

Clamber - Climb or move in an awkward and laborious way using both hands and feet

Brambles - A prickly scrambling shrub of the rose family especially a blackberry

Tramp - A person who travels from place to place on foot in search of work or as a beggar

Stringing - Hang so that it stretches in a long line

Lumping - Carry with difficulty

Glimpse - See or perceive briefly or partially


Read the lines and answer the questions given below.


1. Faster than fairies, faster than witches,

Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;


a. What is faster than fairies and witches?

Ans: Train is faster than fairies and witches.


b. Why does the poet mention ‘bridges and houses, hedges and ditches’? Where are they?

Ans: The poet mentions bridges and houses, hedges and ditches which are seen when the train cross them.


2. Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,

All by himself and gathering brambles;


a. Where do you think the child is?

Ans: The child is outside the train.


b. What does ‘gathering brambles’ mean?

Ans: Collecting blackberry (a prickly scrambling shrub of the rose family)


3. And ever again, in the wink of an eye,

Painted stations whistle by.


a. ‘In the wink of an eye’ means very quickly. Explain ‘painted stations whistle by’.

Ans: The train moves fast the station whistled which are all painted in a similar way.


4. Each a glimpse and gone forever;

a. What is ‘each’ over here? Why is it gone forever?

Ans: Each refers to everything seen by the poet as a passenger. The train fast that and they have gone forever, as the train is going forward.


Answer the following questions.


1. What does ‘charges along like troops in a battle’ mean?

Ans: The train seems to be charging along like the troops marching in a battle.


2. What word could best replace ‘charges’ in the poem - marches, rushes or pushes?

Ans: marches


3. Why does the child clamber and scramble?

Ans: The child clambers and scrambles to collect black berries.


Fill in the blanks to complete the summary.

Ever since their introduction, ___________, and their unique rhythms have ___________ poets. In this poem the poet shares his experience ___________ with us. He presents natural scenes seen from __________ a railway carriage. The ___________ is regular and steady but ___________ from the window of the train is constantly changing. The poem’s rhythm and phrases bring ___________ of a railway journey. The poet looks out of the window at the ___________ images outside. Every line we see here is a quick account of something seen for ___________. The line that best sums up is the final one: "Each a glimpse and gone forever!"


Answer

Ever since their introduction, the trains movement, and their unique rhythms have attractedpoets. In this poem the poet shares his experience of travelling in a train with us. He presents natural scenes seen from the window of a railway carriage. The sound is regular and steady but the scenes from the window of the train is constantly changing. The poem’s rhythm and phrases bring beauty/joy of a railway journey. The poet looks out of the window at the passing images outside. Every line we see here is a quick account of something seen for a moment. The line that best sums up is the final one: "Each a glimpse and gone forever!"


Vocabulary – Find in the poem

1. I can help you to cross the river – bridge

2. I can border your garden – hedges

3. I can alert you – whistle

4. I can carry you – cart

5. You can ride on me – horse

6. You can climb on me – scramble

7. You can lay down on me – meadow

8. You can play with me – child


Appreciation of the Poem


1. Pick out the similes used in the poem

Ans:  like troops in a battle

As thick as driving rain


2. Pick out the rhyming words from the poem

Ans: witches – ditches, scrambles – brambles, battle – cattle, gazes – daises, plain – rain, road – load, eye – by, river – forever.

 

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