By Josie Whitehead
Haze-cradled hills that embraced the low clouds;
Mists, hung suspended, worn simply as shrouds;
Cheerless old factories that glowered at the morn
And the clattering of clogs well before crack of dawn.
Billowing chimneys that choked human goals;
Clattering looms that destroyed human souls;
Mill owners wealthy from poor people’s toil
And their wives richly dressed in Victorian spoil.
Mill chimneys governed the old Yorkshire towns;
Hills sent their clear crystal streams tumbling down;
They babbled and chattered, threw care to the sky -
Quite unnoticed, unheeded by those passing by.
Children worked hard for long hours of the day.
Housed but fed little - this just was their pay.
Child-exploitation helped Britain’s success
With complete disregard to both hardship or stress.
Working beside both the skilled and unskilled,
In alarming conditions some children were killed.
They were given just one hour of schooling each week
So the future for children like these would be bleak.
Haze-cradled hills may still kiss the low clouds
But the mill-towns today now attract different crowds
For now tourists, with interest, step back in the past
To explore Yorkshire’s history and ponder aghast.
Reflecting the past whilst embracing the new
They return to their homes wishing Yorkshire adieu.
Yesterday’s world, almost swept out of sight,
Is replaced now with cities that throw out their light.
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