Draped in death black barges drift
Beneath the leaden winter sky
While all around dank walls of fog
Besmirch the hulks and blind the eye.
No name or legend on the prow
That might the pallid corps reveal
And on the barren morbid deck
No steersman stands before the wheel.
What wills these barks to wend their way
Demands them to maintain this course?
There are no sails nor oars to row
Along the towpath moves no horse.
They navigate without a flaw
No waves or ripples fore or aft,
More silent than the agape grave
Move on these damned infernal craft.
Unseen by cottage, farm or mill
Past bends and tangled rafts of weed,
By rotting trunks of fallen oaks
That never once their course impede.
The dingy feted shrouds of mist
Like layers of corruption cling
And as this dismal curtain falls,
The sweetest voice begins to sing.
Copyright© Alan Gilbert 2012.