Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OSTRAVA, by PETR BEZRUC



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OSTRAVA, by            
First Line: A hundred years mutely I dwelt in the pit
Last Line: A day when we'll take what we owe.
Subject(s): Coal Mines & Miners


A hundred years mutely I dwelt in the pit.
A hundred years coal I hewed,
In a hundred years my shoulders were knit
Stiff as if iron-thewed.

Coal-dust upon my eyes is smeared,
The red from my lips has escaped,
And from my hair, from eyebrows, from beard,
Coal clings icicle-shaped.

Bread with coal is my labor's prize,
From toil unto toil I go.
Palaces by the Danube arise
From my blood and my sweat they grow.

A hundred years I was mute in the mine,
Who'll requite me those hundred years?
When my hammer made them a threatening sign
they each began with their jeers.

I should keep my wits, in the mine I should stay,
For my masters still I should moil --
I swung the hammer -- blood flowed straightway
On Polska Ostrava's soil.

All ye in Silesia, all ye, I say,
Whether Peter your name be or Paul
Your breasts ye must gird with steely array
And thousands to battle must call;

All ye in Silesia, all ye, I say,
Ye lords of the mines below;
The mines flare and reek, and there comes a day,
A day when we'll take what we owe.






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