Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE COAL STRIKE, by HENRY CHAPPELL

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THE COAL STRIKE, by            
First Line: Red are the rails with rust to-day
Last Line: Who went to heaven—starved.
Subject(s): Cemeteries; Death - Children; Heaven; Hunger; Poverty; Graveyards; Death - Babies; Paradise

RED are the rails with rust to-day,
Red is each standing wheel;
No cheerful clank from the gleaming crank,
Or the kiss of steel on steel.
No whistle shrill awakes the hill
To fling an echo back,
Nor piercing beam of a signal's gleam
To give, or bar the track.

Red are the parent's hearts to-day
As they watch the spectre creep,
Gaunt skin and bone, while the children moan
In their hungry, troubled sleep.
No hope is born with the breaking morn,
No work—no fire—no food;
Another day must be starved away
And wept in tears of blood.

White is a little childish form,
White in the arms of Death;
And O, so thin, that thro' the skin
The sharp bones show beneath.
A tiny mound in the churchyard ground,
Apart from the marbles carved;
But never a scroll for the little soul,
Who went to Heaven—starved.

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