Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IX. Tragedy: Humor
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IX. Tragedy: Humor.  1904.
Humorous Poems: IV. Ingenuities: Oddities
Railroad Rhyme
John Godfrey Saxe (1816–1887)
SINGING through the forests,
  Rattling over ridges;
Shooting under arches,
  Rumbling over bridges;
Whizzing through the mountains,        5
  Buzzing o’er the vale,—
Bless me! this is pleasant,
  Riding on the rail!
Men of different “stations”
  In the eye of fame,        10
Here are very quickly
  Coming to the same;
High and lowly people,
  Birds of every feather,
On a common level,        15
  Travelling together.
Gentleman in shorts,
  Looming very tall;
Gentleman at large
  Talking very small;        20
Gentleman in tights,
  With a loose-ish mien;
Gentleman in gray,
  Looking rather green;
Gentleman quite old,        25
  Asking for the news,
Gentleman in black,
  In a fit of blues;
Gentleman in claret,
  Sober as a vicar;        30
Gentleman in tweed,
  Dreadfully in liquor!
Stranger on the right
  Looking very sunny,
Obviously reading        35
  Something rather funny.
Now the smiles are thicker,—
  Wonder what they mean!
Faith, he ’s got the Knicker-
  Bocker Magazine!        40
Stranger on the left
  Closing up his peepers;
Now he snores amain,
  Like the Seven Sleepers;
At his feet a volume        45
  Gives the explanation,
How the man grew stupid
  From “Association”!
Ancient maiden lady
  Anxiously remarks,        50
That there must be peril
  ’Mong so many sparks;
Roguish-looking fellow,
  Turning to the stranger,
Says it ’s his opinion        55
  She is out of danger!
Woman with her baby,
  Sitting vis-à-vis;
Baby keeps a-squalling,
  Woman looks at me;        60
Asks about the distance,
  Says it ’s tiresome talking,
Noises of the cars
  Are so very shocking!
Market-woman, careful        65
  Of the precious casket,
Knowing eggs are eggs,
  Tightly holds her basket;
Feeling that a smash,
  If it came, would surely        70
Send her eggs to pot,
  Rather prematurely.
Singing through the forests,
  Rattling over ridges;
Shooting under arches,        75
  Rumbling over bridges;
Whizzing through the mountains,
  Buzzing o’er the vale,—
Bless me! this is pleasant,
  Riding on the rail!        80

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