Wilson Jefferson

(Lancashire, UK)

The Settle Line

Poem by Wilson Jefferson

'Twas in the year of 'Sixty-nine,
The railway said they'd build a line,
This mountain struggle mile by mile
Would stretch from Settle to Carlisle.

The "Midland" said, "A route we lack
To get the Scottish traffic back,"
The job will be of no mean feat,
Through granite rock, and moss of peat.

So from the south they forged the bed,
Up mountain side to ribblehead,
The valley reached, "And", said the boss,
"We'll have to bridge old batty moss."

For whernside fell they had a cure,
A tunnel long, they called "Blea Moor",
They onward toiled without a pause,
To Station Dent, and Junction Hawse.

And slowly onward with a will,
They reached the summit of Ais-gill,
Past Kirkby, Crosby and Ormside,
The Eden valley opened wide.

Past Appleby and Armathwaite,
Still tunneling through rock and slate,
They laboured on, and in a while,
They reached their target at Carlisle.

The line was laid and it looked well,
The gangs had worked in living hell,
The men went home, but what they'd learned,
Had not helped those, who'd not returned.

Today it stand "A sentinel",
To those who worked so very well,
To all the men, who's lives were laid,
It's memory must never fade.

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Read poems about / on: memory, today, home, work

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 2, 2003

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