What is the summary of "The Pedlar's Caravan" by William Brighty Rands?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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"The Pedlar's Caravan" by William Brighty Rands describes the speaker's longing to live the life of a pedlar man on the road.  The short poem uses rhymed couplets and detail-rich imagery to capture the excitement of the peddler's traveling caravan. 

The first stanza introduces the speaker's longing for a life of travel like the pedlarr man: "Where he comes from nobody knows, Or where he goes to, but on he goes!"  The uncertainty of the pedlar's destinations makes his life seem exciting and fresh. 

The second stanza and third stanzas provide details of the pedlar's caravan, describing what the caravan wagon looks like and his goods that he sells from town to town.

The fourth stanza employs both simile and imagery to compare the pedlar's home to a "bathing-machine" (14).  The imagery suggests movement and motion that mirrors the rumble of the caravan over the roads as he travels.

The last stanza of the poem is a refrain of the opening of the poem, the speaker's wish to travel with the pedlar man. He longs for the sort of adventure that he could write a book about, like the "travels of Captain Cook!" (20)



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