The Watershed Who stands, the crux left of the watershed, On the wet road between the chafing grass Below him sees dismantled washing-floors, Snatches of tramline running to a wood, An industry already comatose, Yet sparsely living. A ramshackle engine At Cashwell raises water; for ten years It lay in flooded workings until this, Its latter office, grudgingly performed. And further here and there, though many dead Lie under the poor soil, some acts are chosen Taken from recent winters; two there were Cleaned out a damaged shaft by hand, clutching The winch a gale would tear them from; one died During a storm, the fells impassable, Not at his village, but in wooden shape Through long abandoned levels nosed his way And in his final valley went to ground. Go home, now, stranger, proud of your young stock, Stranger, turn back again, frustrate and vexed: This land, cut off, will not communicate, Be no accessory content to one Aimless for faces rather there than here. Beams from your car may cross a bedroom wall, They wake no sleeper; you may hear the wind Arriving driven from the ignorant sea To hurt itself on pane, on bark of elm Where sap unbaffled rises, being spring; But seldom this. Near you, taller than the grass, Ears poise before decision, scenting danger.