Alexander Stuart Davidson
Clydesdale House, Mossend, Lanarkshire, Scotland,
This piece was written probably
between 1916-1920. The author was writing of a mining accident
that occurred in his town.
black cold winter morning, wind howling like a wild beast and loose
shutters banging as though they would break the chains that hold them in
bondage. What can that other strange noise be – sounds like mad rush of
animals mingled with human cries rent the howl of the winds at their
highest pitch. Hastily donning my clothes I went to the street and then
only I knew the truth. Half naked women rushed past with little children
clinging to their breasts wide eyed and terror stricken, men ran as they
never ran before. Their loved ones who only that morning had left them to
earn just sufficient food to keep body and soul together were trapped
hundreds of feet below the surface of the earth.
a sight when I reached the mine head, crowds everywhere, squelching in the
black mud, children hanging to their mother’s hand not old enough to
understand the stark tragedy that had befallen one who was want to plant a
secret kiss upon their chubby little faces. No more would they run to meet
him as darkness crept on or run ahead to announce his coming.
day long the crowds hung around, no one thought of food or rest and the
friends of the trapped men had been going down to their aid only to return
to the surface baffled and begrimed seeking to hide from the women folks
the truth that all hope had fled.
sun slowly sinking in the west as if not wanting to miss the last cruel
scene presaged the coming of another night and the going of that mighty
arm of the poor, hope. At last a ripple runs through the crowd and each
reads the thought of his neighbors eye, yet shrinks from saying it. Some
of the dead have been brought to the surface on stretchers and lie in rows
awaiting identification; they are long past any other needs.
on you beloved dead, march through the gates of Heaven and cry for the
justice you could not obtain from your fellow man, cry their shame to
heights of the temple.
a ghastly sight ye merry gentlemen, what a mockery you preachers of the
gospel of Him who took the weary to his breast, what a crime you civilized
died that you may have coal and may it burn with a lurid red flame for
their blood is upon it.
Stuart Alexander Davidson, written c1920, Copyright 2001, all rights
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