Walking The Canal

From Lancashire to Yorkshire
From Liverpool to Leeds
Canals dug deep by navvies
To meet commercial needs
Cutting through the landscape
From moors to sweeping dale
Linking Northern cities
'Fore losing place to rail
Towpaths that once knew hoofprints
Now marked by walkers' boots
Gone the hardy watermen
Who toiled upon these routes
Clear markers by the wayside
Counting down the miles
When joggers met along the track
A switch to single file
Kingfisher flash so fleeting 
White stately swans serene
Leaning trees reflected
Upon the limpid green
Factory grime, satanic mills
Interchanged with rural charm
Slender bridges linking
Bisected fields on lonely farm
Lock gates that once awaited
Those urgent cargoes past
Now just closed and opened
For lazy pleasure craft
Rich heritage of industry
Surviving 'til today
Canal network of Britain
Still with a part to play.