The Line-Gang

(1943)

"The Line-Gang" is the third song of Elliott Carter's Three Poems of Robert Frost.

The Line-Gang
by Robert Frost


Here come the line-gang pioneering by.
They throw a forest down less cut than broken.
They plant dead trees for living, and the dead
They string together with a living thread.
They string an instrument against the sky.
Wherein words whether beaten out or spoken
will run as hushed as when they were a thought.
But in no hush they string it: they go past
With shouts afar to pull the cable taut,
To hold it hard until they make it fast,
To ease away they have it. With a laugh,
An oath of towns that set the wild at naught
They bring the telephone and telegraph.


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