Out of the Window

In the middle of countries, far from hills and sea,
   Are the little places one passes by in trains
   And never stops at; where the skies extend
   Uninterrupted, and the level plains
   Stretch green and yellow and green without an end.
   And behind the glass of their Grand Express
   Folk yawn away a province through,
   With nothing to think of, nothing to do,
   Nothing even to look at—never a “view”
   In this damned wilderness.
   But I look out of the window and find
   Much to satisfy the mind.
   Mark how the furrows, formed and wheeled
   In a motion orderly and staid,
   Sweep, as we pass, across the field
   Like a drilled army on parade.
   And here’s a market-garden, barred
   With stripe on stripe of varied greens ...
   Bright potatoes, flower starred,
   And the opacous colour of beans.
   Each line deliberately swings
   Towards me, till I see a straight
   Green avenue to the heart of things,
   The glimpse of a sudden opened gate
   Piercing the adverse walls of fate ...
   A moment only, and then, fast, fast,
   The gate swings to, the avenue closes;
   Fate laughs, and once more interposes
   Its barriers.
                       The train has passed.
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