Saturday, November 23, 2013

"The Abandoned Quarry" by Tudor Williams (1900)

The Abandoned Quarry.


Tree-hidden, rain-filled, deserted and still,

The old slate quarry yawns wide on the hill,

With now ne'er a sound echo's trumpet to fill—

No thudding of hammer, nor clinking the drill,

Nor creaking of derrick, nor booming of blast,

Nor clashing of trimming-knife, once whirling fast,

Nor clatter of rubbish adown the dump thrown,

Nor rumble of wagons with big loads agroan,

Nor the cries of the toilers, nor the chat, nor the song,

Which livened their labors and made time leap along.

Long ago went the mast and the boom and the guys,

Which once, like strength's skeleton, slender did rise;

No more by the drum, with the nag circling round,

The pulleyed wire-rope is wound and unwound;

No longer the box poises filled in the air;

The train-car has ceased its heaped burdens to bear;

Borne afar are the slate duly numbered and piled,

Meagre bounty of Fortune when, fickle, she smiled;

The shanty is shattered, the bank is weed-grown,

And the briers cluster thick mid the fragments of stone.

'Mid the silence unbroken that reigns o'er the scene,

Throng memories saddening and bitterly keen.

Here hushed evermore was the music of toil,

When baffled were they who would Nature despoil.

All bravely they dared with her hardness to cope,

But to find, deeply dug, a grave for their hope.

This wound in her bosom Old Earth shall yet mend,

Till ravage's marks with her beauty shall blend;

But when from remembrance's page shall be crost

The tale of foiled aims, bootless striving and cost?

Troy Daily Times. August 16, 1900: 6 col 2.

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