Context.

 

Listen, kid, we ain't got much
time for the likes of you
young and unemployed types
'round here no more;

not since the gov'ment
works dried up and the
railroads stopped snaking
through the rolling pasture,

when times were realpropertough,
after the newly-minted men
came back from the Great War
with nightmares they told nobody,

missing their childhood friend Jimmy
from-down-the-road and maybe a limb,
but KingAndCountry!'d been served
and the Minister'd promised 'em land.

They left the sweeping stone bridges
half- or new-built, you know,
men's sweat glistening on
homeward brows regardless and

the river beneath rustling
on in her glittering finery
not giving a hoot 'bout some
damn fool's scheme in the Capital

while the ferntrees laughed softly
in the wind and staked their claim
'gainst foolish foundations;
nothing's gained, nor permanent,

'specially these days, you hear?
Nope, them types of works
kept boys like you busy, out of
trouble and girls, back then,

clearing and settling 'til the
earth said "No more!" and
loosened her tentative hold on the
fecund topsoil and their hopes but

that's just an old man's ramblings;
what do you care about
broken dreams and penniless
shellshocked settlers -

you, with your newfangled gadgets,
impermanent interests, pixel friends,
and this new type of recession
that sneers behind your shoulder?

But listen, kid, I tell you this -
times have changed
and ain't nothing the same,
'cept men's folly, the river,
and the laughing of the trees.