The Sluice

And here the river halted
Its waters still and deep
As if they paused to ponder
Where next they now must leap

Once an old sluice for lumber
Gave to the place a name
And a steep path led downward
For those who were not lame.

And here throughout the Summer
When fields no more were brown,
Youth, ever bold and daring,
Would scramble up and down.

They loved the ancient river.
They sought its waters cool
For here could boys go swimmlng
Where fashion laid no rule.

I see all in my dreaming
Of things long passed away,
The sluice, the river gleaming.
Where are those boys today?
As the St. John approaches
The ancient Keswick Vale
The Ridge it has to break through
In order to prevail.

The river was a highway
For lumber in the Spring
Where logs came down in millions.
Some to the banks would cling.

And great rafts too came floating
Upon the waters blue
With men aboard to guide them
The winding channels through

Above the old Lunt's Ferry
The bank upon the left
Is high and steep, and rugged
Where once the Ridge was cleft.

The bank was thickly wooded
With stunted hardy trees
That sought and found a footing
But never were at ease.

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