Monday, March 9, 2009

For all the Slate Pickers and Breaker Boys in the Anthracite Region

I found this poem in an old Shenandoah Herald of 1870. It pleases me to be able to put Mr. Morgan's Poem on my blog for the world to view. He certainly didn't get this much exposure in the old Herald!
And it is also a tribute to all our family members who suffered and died in the Anthracite Mines of Pennsylvania.

Written For The Shenandoah Herald

By Edward T. Morgan
July 28, 1870

Song of the Slate Picker

How varied are the sons of men,
How different are their fates,
Some live in comforts all along,
While I am picking slate.

It grieves me to the heart to think
The changes taking place,
For since my father lost his life,
Want stares me in the face.

I am not lazy, not at all
The work I do not hate,
But poverty surrounds me since
I started picking slate.

My compensation is but small
For working in such dust,
But mother taught me long ago
To say in “God we trust,”

Whatever is in store for me,
However so hard my fate,
I know I’ll be a man someday
And not be picking slate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved the poem. I learned while researching my family history, that many of my uncles and cousins were "slate pickers" and their fathers worked in the mines. The slate pickers were SO YOUNG, yet worked to help their families. Some to support their mothers, brothers and sisters when their fathers were killed while working in the coal mines.