There was once a man who went down the mines,
He was then young and in his prime.
For days no one heard from him, then weeks turned to months,
The years then did past, the decades passed in time.
Around the shaft grew the hill berries,
The grasses and weeds within danced merrily.
The dew collected and coated the frost,
The leaves then all fell and all was now lost.
Two brothers came one day from afar,
And down the shaft they went into the marr,
The mine was all silent and still as it’d been,
Nothing living, moving or dead could be seen.
The tunnels led on to more tunnels and tunnels,
Deeper and deeper than an old badger’s burrow.
The sound of dripping from the waters above,
Add to the loneliness of brotherly love.
No light or air could guide them back now,
No map nor compass and so they did row.
Out of the shadows emerged a figure,
Dark and cold was his demeanour.
‘You’re both lost,’ he said, ‘I assume.
For hours you have wandered in these godforsaken rooms.
I know the mines like I know my life.
I’ll lead you out and save you from strife.’
The brothers were shocked, amazed and a-sadden
But to know they can leave they were finally a-gladdened.
They followed this man through corridors and shafts,
Under waterfalls and water filled baths.
He told them of years that have gone by,
Miners and the coaldust that blackened their eye.
The gasses and foul stenches that drifted the place,
Soot on their hands and black were their face.
A light they did spy from the tunnel yonder,
The door to the living as they stared in wonder.
They looked back to thank their saviour,
But a pile of bones they saw from there after.