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The Miner
by [?]

Down where the daylight never comes
Toileth the miner on;
He sees not the golden morning break–
He sees not the setting sun.

Dimly his lamp in the dark vault burns,
And he sits on the miner’s hard floor,
Toiling, toiling, toiling on;
Toiling for precious ore!

The air is wet; for the dew and rain,
Drank by the thirsty ground,
Have won their way to his dark retreat,
And are trickling all around—

And sickly vapors are near his lips,
And close to his wire-net lamp,
Unseen, as an evil spirit comes,
Up stealeth the dread fire-damp!

But the miner works on, though death is by,
And fears not the monster grim;
For the wiry gauze, round his steady light,
Makes a safety-lamp for him.

Rough and rude, and of little worth,
Seems the ore that the miner brings
From the hidden places where lie concealed
Earth’s rare and precious things;

But, tried awhile in the glowing fire,
It is rough and rude no more;
Art moulds the iron, and forms the gold,
And fashions the silver ore.

And useful, rare, and beautiful things,
‘Neath the hand of skill arise:
Oh! a thousand thousand human wants
The miner’s toil supplies!