Birch and Willow crouched down low,
Hoods over ears, so none would know,
That subjects of the great Queen Faerie,
Watched the village populary.
What they saw there, made them sick,
Soot and mine dust, heavy and thick,
Covering buildings and people’s faces,
No spot left without its traces.
And in the sky great black clouds plumed,
From belching stacks that ominous loomed,
Above the village, where not one tree,
Escaped the fires of industry.
And from behind black buildings’ brick,
They poked their heads, and snuck and snick.
Throughout the village, spot to spot
Witnessing what life had wrought,
Upon its people, who walked and took,
With haggard, hopeless, saddened looks.
Birch soft whispered “what a place!”
And said with a disgusted face:
“So dark and dim, with soot filth spread,
On every home and every head!
I remember when Islegrove,
Was green with life, and nature’s home.
It angers me to see her now,
Beauty exploited and nature bowed,
To sate the giant’s infectious greed,
For coal and gems in endless need.
“What is that?” Willow exclaimed.
He pointed west, long finger aimed,
At stacks of boiling belching soot,
And down to pulsing building’s foot,
Where fiery windows, two for eyes,
And also six more half the size,
Burned alive, as in a skull,
While steaming sounds, industrial.
Then whistle sounded, longest note,
Expelled from deep down in its throat,
And skull face parted, open doors,
Revealing stained and blackened pores,
On ten hundred ragged faces,
Male and female, all the races.
A second whistle sounded next,
And standing hundreds, unperplexed,
Spewed out of building’s blasting maw,
Soot stained all, from brow to jaw.