Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | August 23, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: Riding Down from Bangor

by Louis Shreve Osborne (ca 1852 – 1912).

Riding Down From Bangor

Riding down from Bangor, on an eastbound train
After weeks of hunting, in the woods of Maine
Quite extensive whiskers, beard, mustache as well
Sat a student fellow, tall and slim and swell
Empty seat behind him, no one at his side                                 5
Into quiet village, eastern train did glide
Enter aged couple, take the hindmost seat
Enter village maiden, beautiful, petite
Blushingly she faltered, “Is this seat engaged?”
Sees the aged couple, properly enraged                                  10
Student’s quite ecstatic, sees her ticket through
Thinks of the long tunnel, thinks of what he will do
Pleasantly they chatted, how the cinders fly
Til the student fellow, gets one in his eye
Maiden sympathetic, turns herself about                                   15
“May I if you please sir, try to get it out?”
Then the student fellow, feels a gentle touch
Hears a gentle murmur, “Does it hurt you much?”
Whiz! Slap! Bang! Into the tunnel quite
Into glorious darkness, black as Egypt’s night                            20
Out into the daylight glides that eastern train
Student’s hair is ruffled, just the merest grain
Maiden seen all blushes when then and there appeared
A tiny little earring, in that horrid student’s beard.



  1. beautiful old school (of mine) song which when sang by 600 boys (in a school hall with a new zealand music master trained in london) sounds unforgettable. great to read the lyrics after so long (1979)

  2. at last I have the full lyrics! Used to sing this at school in the 50s (London)and still hum it to myself occasionally. Couldn’t get beyond “empty seat behind him” … etc. thank you!

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