Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TWO CANALS, by AGNES LEE



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TWO CANALS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The old canal forlorn, forsaken crawls
Last Line: The flowers grow.
Alternate Author Name(s): Freer, Otto, Mrs.
Subject(s): Canals


The old canal forlorn, forsaken crawls,
Its locks decayed and its low water stirred
By minnows, all its past ensepulchred
In whispering walls.

Here mystery holds the moments with delight.
The banks are dark with groves; the paths, half blotted,
Struggle along the edges bramble-knotted,
Scentful as night.

The rough-hewn chasm is never entered now.
The steep walls, viny with forgetfulness,
Out from their crevices push flower and cress
And greening bough.

And parallel, and half a mile away,
The new canal, a broad deep channel, reaches
Across the prairie where the sunshine bleaches
The grass all day.

Its lines are open to the eye and clear.
New minds laid out the granite with new science,
And new invention wrought for time's defiance
The perfect gear.

Soon it shall bear high steamers on its breast;
Soon, with the shedding forth of its renown,
River shall tell to river, town to town
The world's unrest.

Ah, but a tree, a vine, a rose? Not one!
The banks stretch out monotonous and bare.
Naked and smooth the peerless walls upglare
When the day is done.

Modernity, build strong! The price we know.
Bring to the land new steel, new stone, new faces!
But it's in the crannies of the old, old places
The flowers grow.





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