The first line of the poem kinda places us in an art museum. When we read, "In Brueghel's great picture, The Kermess," we imagine the speaker standing with his arms crossed, staring intently at the painting in a sterile, reserved environment (1). Very quickly, though, the wild world of the painting, itself, surrounds the speaker. The silent halls of the museum are filled with "the squeal and the blare and the/ tweedle of bagpipes, a bugle and fiddles" (3-4).
Suddenly, the other silent patrons of the art museum transform into the round-bellied, butt-swinging peasants of the rowdy festival. Our speaker is swept up entirely, and before you know it, the ordered halls of the museum disappear entirely, and our speaker is "Kicking and rolling/ about the Fair Grounds" with the best of them (8-9).
Like every dream, though, this one has to come to an end. The last line of the poem reminds us again that our speaker is staring at a painting, so we see the wild world of "The Kermess" dissolve around him, leaving him standing once more in quiet halls of the museum. We have a feeling, though, that this trip to the museum was well worth the price of admission. The way that the setting draws the speaker in, and us along with him, speaks to the power that the painting has over its viewers. It pulls us in, sets us spinning, then spits us out again, happy and exhausted.