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Coalminer


Go down and deeper down, down!

Go down into the chilly pit,

Where shining bodies writhe and pound

Upon a wall by blackness lit -

A life of toil in darkness drowned,

Suffocating and unholy lands.

In twisting tunnels blows resound

Of picks held firm by sinewy hands,

They ring in protest and in hope

For open skies and sunny days,

Go down and deeper down, down!

            into spaceless space.

 

Go down into the lightless womb

Of rapacious mother Earth,

Where men are doomed to constant gloom,

Deprived of their human worth

And the glimmer of your lamp

Will light this temple of toil,

Sinister rugged and damp,

Build of props, black stone and simple soil.

There monster idols twitch and frown

Upon the worshippers of dayless time.

Go down and deeper down, down!

            into a climeless clime.

 

Here the countless years have piled

Layers upon layers of black

And stony rugs of patterns wild,

Boundless Nature's bounty stack

of power locked in smoke and flame,

Rough and cold like human pain.

Go down to this fountain of shame,

Of hope and despair, of sweat and gain.

Go down along the narrow track,

And storm the dark abysmal caves

To break the layers thick and black

            and the chains of slaves.

 

Shove the shining mass of coal

Into the raging furnace of the fight,

And out of the leaden clouds will roll

An ever-flowing river bright,

Luminous streams and waves of fire

Rushing through the weary night,

In fury and rightful ire,

The Earth will bathe with joyous flares,

With rainbow-coloured blazing arks,

With flaming fires every where,

            and myriads of sparks.

 

1921

 


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