Full Steam ahead

Transport Museum York
I have just spent the weekend in York, and I can see now why Dick Turpin was in such a hurry to enjoy it’s pleasures. One of those pleasures is the National Rail Museum and the magnificent iron beasts it houses. The experience is a romance with a capital R, encompassing as it does 200 years of rail travel. Surely one of the best ways of seeing a country, and a lot easier than a horse! Poets, or course, have long had a thing about the railway, probably the most famous poem being Night Mail by W.H.Auden. Thomas Hardy and Sir John Betjeman both wrote several poems on the subject, Great Central Railway: Sheffield Victoria to Banbury by Sir John Betjeman is one of my favourites, as is Philip Larkin’s, The Whitsun Weddings. If you’re a cat lover, and I am, then T.S.Eliot’s, Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat is a must. Recently I came across a charming poem by Christine Weatherly, which I hope she won’t mind me sharing with you.

The Song of the Engine
When you travel on the railway,
And the line goes up a hill,
Just listen to the engine
As it pulls you with a will.
Though it goes very slowly
It sings this little song.
“I think I can, I think I can,”
And so it goes along.

But later on the Journey,
When you’re going down a hill,
The train requires no pulling,
And the engine’s singing still.
If you listen very quietly
You will hear this little song,
“I thought I could, I thought I could!”
And so it speeds along.

Christine Weatherly