The Dawn Brigade: A Poem by Peter Thornley

The Dawn Brigade: A Poem by Peter Thornley

At dawn I hear the trampingInterior_of_Magnolia_Cotton_Mills_spinning_room._See_the_little_ones_scattered_through_the_mill._All_work._Magnolia..._-_NARA_-_523307
Of a thousand marching clogs;
A wailing and a stamping
Of the folk in working togs.
I hear teeth go chitter-chatter,
Children’s feet go pitter-patter,
And the cokers clitter-clatter,
In the swirling, curling fog.

On and upwards, footsteps blending,
Over steep and cobbled hills;
Treading cold and never-ending
Paths to dark satanic mills.
Still the echo of the chatter,
Murmuring voices nitter-natter,
And the wind it doesn’t matter
To these individuals.

For the mills are dead and crumbling
And the dawn brigade has gone;
But the old familiar rumbling
Of their footsteps lingers on.
If you listen in the morning,
When the cold grey day is dawning,
You may sometimes hear them yawning
As they pass you, one by one.

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