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Famous Rail Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Rail poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous rail poems. These examples illustrate what a famous rail poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Kipling, Rudyard
 In the ice that used to slake
Pegs I drank when I was dry --
 This observe for old sake's sake.

To the railway station hie,
 There a single ticket take
For Umballa -- goods-train -- I
 Shall not mind delay or shake.
I shall rest contentedly
 Spite of clamor coolies make;
Thus in state and dignity
 Send me up for old sake's sake.

Next the sleepy Babu wake,
 Book a Kalka van "for four."
Few, I think, will care to make
 Journeys with me any more
As ...Read More

by Wilmot, John
...cretion bids me stay,
And turns my tide of ink another way.
What rage Torments in your degenerate mind,
To make you rail at reason, and mankind
Blessed glorious man! To whom alone kind heaven
An everlasting soul hath freely given;
Whom his great maker took such care to make,
That from himself he did the image take;
And this fair frame in shining reason dressed,
To dignify his nature above beast.
Reason, by whose aspiring influence
We take a flight beyond material sens...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
.... Three days later you died. 

These are the snapshots of marriage, stopped in places. 
Side by side at the rail toward Nassau now; 
here, with the winner's cup at the speedboat races, 
here, in tails at the Cotillion, you take a bow,

here, by our kennel of dogs with their pink eyes, 
running like show-bred pigs in their chain-link pen; 
here, at the horseshow where my sister wins a prize; 
Now I fold you down, my drunkard, my navigator, 
my first lost keeper, t...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...our Censure to restrain,
And charitably let the Dull be vain:
Your Silence there is better than your Spite,
For who can rail so long as they can write?
Still humming on, their drowzy Course they keep,
And lash'd so long, like Tops, are lash'd asleep.
False Steps but help them to renew the Race,
As after Stumbling, Jades will mend their Pace.
What Crouds of these, impenitently bold,
In Sounds and jingling Syllables grown old,
Still run on Poets in a raging Vein,
Ev'n t...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...loup-lump at the bottom of the melt at
 rolling-mill, the stumpy bars of pig-iron, the strong, clean-shaped T-rail for railroads;

Oil-works, silk-works, white-lead-works, the sugar-house, steam-saws, the great mills and
Stone-cutting, shapely trimmings for façades, or window or door-lintels—the
 tooth-chisel, the jib to protect the thumb, 
Oakum, the oakum-chisel, the caulking-iron—the kettle of boiling vault-cement, and
 under ...Read More

by Wilcox, Ella Wheeler
A hideous squaw pursues them with her hate; 
Her knife descends with sickening force and sound; 
Their bloody entrails stain the snow-clad ground.
She shouts with glee, then yells with rage and falls
Dead by her victims' side, pierced by avenging balls.

Now war runs riot, carnage reigns supreme.
All thoughts of mercy fade from Custer's scheme.
Inhuman methods for inhuman foes, 
Who feed on horrors and exult in woes.
To conquer and subd...Read More

by Dryden, John, 
And love too long a pain. 

'Tis easy to deceive us 
In pity of your pain, 
But when we love, you leave us 
To rail at you in vain. 
Before we have descried it, 
There is no joy beside it, 
But she that once has tried it 
Will never love again. 

The passion you pretended 
Was only to obtain, 
But once the charm is ended, 
The charmer you disdain. 
Your love by ours we measure 
Till we have lost our treasure, 
But dying is a pleasure 
When living is a pai...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...y the man.' 

Then came Sir Kay, the seneschal, and cried, 
'A boon, Sir King! even that thou grant her none, 
This railer, that hath mocked thee in full hall-- 
None; or the wholesome boon of gyve and gag.' 

But Arthur, 'We sit King, to help the wronged 
Through all our realm. The woman loves her lord. 
Peace to thee, woman, with thy loves and hates! 
The kings of old had doomed thee to the flames, 
Aurelius Emrys would have scourged thee dead, 
And Uther sl...Read More

by Bukowski, Charles
...was continually being
evicted,jailed,in and
out of fights,in and aout
of my mind.
women were something
to screw and rail
at,i had no male

I changed jobs and
cities,I hated holidays,
newspapers, museums,
marriage, movies,
spiders, garbagemen,
english accents,spain,
france,italy,walnuts and
the color 
algebra angred me,
opera sickened me,
charlie chaplin was a
and flowers were for

peace an happiness to m...Read More

by Dryden, John
...blood, where Jonson has no part;
What share have we in Nature or in Art?
Where did his wit on learning fix a brand,
And rail at arts he did not understand?
Where made he love in Prince Nicander's vein,
Or swept the dust in Psyche's humble strain?
Where sold he bargains, whip-stitch, kiss my ****,
Promis'd a play and dwindled to a farce?
When did his muse from Fletcher scenes purloin,
As thou whole Eth'ridge dost transfuse to thine?
But so transfus'd as oil on waters flow,
His...Read More

by Clare, John
...y of snow
Mozzld wi many a lushing thread
Of crab tree blossoms delicate red
He often bends wi many a wish
Oer the brig rail to view the fish
Go sturting by in sunny gleams
And chucks in the eye dazzld streams
Crumbs from his pocket oft to watch
The swarming struttle come to catch
Them where they to the bottom sile
Sighing in fancys joy the while
Hes cautiond not to stand so nigh
By rosey milkmaid tripping bye
Where he admires wi fond delight
And longs to be there mute till n...Read More

by Sandburg, Carl
...ed men cried and went away to new places for corn and women: a million white men came and put up skyscrapers, threw out rails and wires, feelers to the salt sea: now the smokestacks bite the skyline with stub teeth.

In an early year the call of a wild duck woven in greens and purples: now the riveter’s chatter, the police patrol, the song-whistle of the steamboat.

To a man across a thousand years I offer a handshake.
I say to him: Brother, make the story short, ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charleston, New Orleans,

I see the tracks of the rail-roads of the earth; 
I see them welding State to State, city to city, through North America;
I see them in Great Britain, I see them in Europe; 
I see them in Asia and in Africa. 

I see the electric telegraphs of the earth; 
I see the filaments of the news of the wars, deaths, losses, gains, passions, of my race.

I see the long river-stripes ...Read More

by Wilmot, John
...tion bids me stay, 
And turns my Tide of Ink another way. 
What rage ferments in your degen'rate mind, 
To make you rail at Reason, and Mankind? 
Blest glorious Man! to whom alone kind Heav'n, 
An everlasting Soul has freely giv'n; 
Whom his great Maker took such care to make, 
That from himself he did the Image take; 
And this fair frame, in shining Reason drest, 
To dignifie his Nature, above Beast. 
Reason, by whose aspiring influence, 
We take a flight beyond mate...Read More

by Whitman, Walt the dry gulch and rivulet bed; 
Weeding my onion-patch, or hoeing rows of carrots and parsnips—crossing
 savannas—trailing in forests; 
Prospecting—gold-digging—girdling the trees of a new purchase; 
Scorch’d ankle-deep by the hot sand—hauling my boat down the shallow
Where the panther walks to and fro on a limb overhead—where the buck turns
 furiously at the hunter;
Where the rattlesnake suns his flabby length on a rock—where the otter is
 feeding on fis...Read More

by Whitman, Walt; 
They tumble forth, they rise and form, 
Hut, tent, landing, survey, 
Flail, plough, pick, crowbar, spade,
Shingle, rail, prop, wainscot, jamb, lath, panel, gable, 
Citadel, ceiling, saloon, academy, organ, exhibition-house, library, 
Cornice, trellis, pilaster, balcony, window, shutter, turret, porch, 
Hoe, rake, pitch-fork, pencil, wagon, staff, saw, jack-plane, mallet, wedge, rounce, 
Chair, tub, hoop, table, wicket, vane, sash, floor,
Work-box, chest, string’d instrum...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...ding it goes, 
Formless and wordless through the streets of the cities, polite and bland in the parlors,
In the cars of rail-roads, in steamboats, in the public assembly, 
Home to the houses of men and women, at the table, in the bed-room, everywhere, 
Smartly attired, countenance smiling, form upright, death under the breast-bones, hell
Under the broadcloth and gloves, under the ribbons and artificial flowers, 
Keeping fair with the customs, speaki...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
That ruled once on a time;
And as he walked by an apple tree
There came green devils out of the sea
With sea-plants trailing heavily
And tracks of opal slime.

Yet Alfred is no fairy tale;
His days as our days ran,
He also looked forth for an hour
On peopled plains and skies that lower,
From those few windows in the tower
That is the head of a man.

But who shall look from Alfred's hood
Or breathe his breath alive?
His century like a small dark cloud
Drifts far; it...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...of God knows who:
And now was the time to revisit her tribe.
Abroad and afar they went, the two,
And let our people rail and gibe
At the empty hall and extinguished fire,
As loud as we liked, but ever in vain,
Till after long years we had our desire,
And back came the Duke and his mother again.


And he came back the pertest little ape
That ever affronted human shape;
Full of his travel, struck at himself.
You'd say, he despised our bluff old ways?
---Not h...Read More

by Lowell, Amy
...shaved away to thin spiral curls.
Tap! Tap! A cornucopia is nailed into place.
Rap-a-tap! They are putting up a railing filigreed like 
Irish lace.
The Three Town's people never saw such grace.
And the paint on it! The richest gold leaf!
Why, the glitter when the sun is shining passes belief.
And that row of glass windows tipped toward the sky
Are rubies and carbuncles when the day is dry.
Oh, my! Oh, my!
They have coppered up the bottom,
And the coppe...Read More

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