The Railway Train


Dickinson's poem is also known as I Like to See It Lap the Miles, which allows readers to guess Dickinson's riddle. This is a favorite Dickinson poem, often studied by middle school students.
The Railway Train
Steam locomotive running gear
I like to see it lap the miles,
And lick the valleys up,
And stop to feed itself at tanks;
And then, prodigious, step

Around a pile of mountains,
And, supercilious, peer
In shanties by the sides of roads;
And then a quarry pare

To fit its sides, and crawl between,
Complaining all the while
In horrid, hooting stanza;
Then chase itself down hill

And neigh like Boanerges;
Then, punctual as a star,
Stop — docile and omnipotent —
At its own stable door.

Featured in our selection of Poetry for Students and Children's Poems
You might also like Henry David Thoreau's poem, What's the Railroad to Me?


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