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The wrought iron gates at the cemetry creaked

As the funeral procession passed through

The black horse's hoofs clattered on the wet cobble stone

Through the swirling mist the grave came into view.

The only sound heard was sobbing and cries

The grief was so hard to bear

As the coffin was slowly lowered into the group

A heavy feeling of gloom filled the cold winter air.

The vicar's voice boomed out the words of the Lord

He spoke well of the young lad who had died

Said he would be looked after in God's kingdom

The black veiled young widow screamed 'Tell me why'!!

The village had lost one of their young men

Killed on the coal face in his prime

Suffocated by gas in the bowels of the earth

One of many men killed down the mine.

A sudden hush fell over the bleak cemetry

As the mine owner spoke to the crowd

His words spoke of praise for the young miner

He said his young widow should be very proud.

In his black velvet hat and his Saville Row suit

His hollow words fell on deaf ears

He vowed to look after the man's family

Said his wife should have no fears.

The folk of the village had heard it before

He was notorious for his lies and deceit

Like the families of other miners killed in his pit

They were soon homeless, flung out on the street.

It was hard times in those days for the Miners

Working underground was unsafe and unhealthy

Grafting hard in conditions that beggered belief

Whilst the heartless mine owners got wealthy.

Copyright Fred Dickson

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