A Colorado Miner's Fourth.

Author:Lazure, Joe R.
Position::Work Poems - Poem
 
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A Colorado Miner's Fourth Oh stranger, this is a great day on this part of the earth-- it's "Independence Day" of ours, which gave our nation birth, When our patriots assembled and declared, "It shall not be, We'll stand no more oppression; our country shall be free." While from the call of duty these miners will not shirk, This is the one day in the year on which they will not work. I never worked on but one fourth, and that one was the last Fourth of July I'll ever mine, where'er my lot be cast, 'Twas at a place called Goldfield in the county of Pinal, Way down in Arizona, I was working with a "pal," There were nothing doing on this fourth, there was no place to go, So we decided we would work and try to save some "dough." The day it passed off quickly, we were young then, full of life, We've since had many ups and downs in this hard world of strife. So when the shades of evening fell we thought it was our right With other kindred spirits there, to celebrate that night. The boys had scarcely settled down to have a quiet time, With refreshments by the bottle, and several different kinds. When in rushed old Riel Morse, his face as pale as death, And says: "Come boys, get out of here!" when he could catch his breath. "For that old stope has caved in, clear down to the 2; "Come get your digging clothes on, boys, for there'll be need of you." If Stevens was back in his drift, we knew there was some hope. His orders were, that very day, "not to go through that stope." We jumped into our harness, for the mine we made a dash, And there we found Bolitho, for he had heard the crash. Our foreman in the mine was he, and right here let me say, He was a good one, stranger, he sleeps beneath the clay, Near the new shaft he was standing, and with steady voice and slow, Says he: "Now I want one of you to go with me below. "We'll go down to the 7; I think the shaft's all right, "To see if Jimmy Lee is safe--he's working there to-night." On the bucket there with Billy stepped the Kid without a word. They found Lee on the 7, he knew not what occurred. To the surface on the bucket, and back down to the 3, They went, to find the quickest way to set poor Stevens free. But that old stope was working--you could hear the timbers pop-- So Billy thought it safer to sink down from the top. He picked out four of us at once to work on that night shift. We started through the old cave there to tap poor Jimmy's drift. Then Billy called up all the boys, and these words to...

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