The Blight Of Waste
The trees are black with dust and smoke,
The grass is burnt and sere,
The noxious gases from the coke
Pollute the atmosphere;
The valley droops as with a blight,
There is no vivid green,
And reeking ovens day and night
Make desolate the scene.
The land is dull and drab and bleak
And overcast the sky,
With heavy choking fumes that reek
And make the throat turn dry--
Yet all the beauty that's defaced
And wearisone to see,
I but the fruit of careless waste--
A waste that need not be.
The smoke that pours into the air,
The dust that settles thick,
To make the valley grim and bare,
The heart grow sore and sick;
This smoke and dust are golden gain
All lost before our eyes,
Because we will not take the pain
To have it otherwise.
"By-products"--what care we for these?
We only want our coke,
We'll go on flinging to the breeze
Our wasted wealth in smoke,
And though we know how much is lost
In soot and gas and flame,
We'll still refuse to count the cost
And waste it just the same.
For all the fumes and all the dirt
Which makes the land so black,
Which float above it to its hurt
And leave it smirched and slack,
Are wasted wealth that won't return
But flees beyond recall,
And yet we cannot seem to learn
The pity of it all.
For if we ceased to foul the air
With murkiness and smoke,
We'd have our rich by-products there
And also have our coke;
It would not prove a huge expense
The profits would be fat,
But it might need some common sense--
And who could hope for that!