1 1 A late train is better than a mythic one.
2 Better an announcement clipped with facts
than a thousand words of empty greeting.
3 A wise man reads the headcodes
but a fool is blind to his destination.
4 A foolish man’s umbrella fails in autumn,
but a wise man’s springs to full cover.
5 There are three things I do not understand,
four that defy knowing:
6 the pace of the fast which is slow,
birds that tingle on the overhead line,
station flowers that live on to bloom
and the price of tickets in spring.
7 The wicked man says in his heart
‘I will not stand for the woman who is pregnant’,
but the righteous risks her obese and rises to offer.
8 Better a points failure with a passing line,
than power lost and traction with it.
9 The wicked man pushes for a seat,
but the righteous stands on legs of steel.
2 1 One thing I detest, two are beyond contempt:
the man who sneers from his first class seat,
and the woman who tramples to hers.
2 An uncapped coffee may not shake on the table,
but watch it diligently, for as the ballast settles
so will the passing wheels deliver misfortune to your trousers.
3 Better to squeeze on a seat fairly gained
than lounge in one wrought with an elbow.
4 The fool spends his battery in public gossip
but the wise guards his mobile for delays and deals.
5 The fool has no eye on the forecast,
he says ‘my train will arrive whatever the weather’;
6 but the wise consults carefully, lest he be snow-bound for days
and his employer despatch him for his absence.
7 My son, do not fix women with your stare
or hold their wandering eyes in yours;
8 for in an instant you will alight the platform on their shoulder
and their shadows will stalk you by day and by night.