They built canals
dug through fields and stone
peat and grassland
inland, inland
to carry lumber in
to carry food crops out
so the ships that brought the lumber
might carry produce aplenty  
years it took, years
dig, dig, dig
Elsewhere others dug dug dug
laying steel across cut logs
so that chug chug chug
engines could pull more
and faster
than a canal boat ever could
canals and railroads 
on a famished land