Only a Miner Killed

John Wallace Crawford
Language: English

While in Virginia City, in 1877, a wagon passed up Main Street, with a soiled canvas thrown over it. Some curbstone brokers rushed out to investigate, and when they returned were asked what was the matter. "O," replied one, "It's only a miner killed." Old Commodore Vanderbilt died on the same day and the papers were full of accounts concerning this multi-millionaire. A paragraph in the Virginia City Chronicle, referring to the above incident, suggested the following verses:

Only a miner killed -- oh! is that all?
One of the timbers caved, great was the fall,
Crushing another one shaped like his God.
Only a miner lad -- under the sod.

Only a miner killed, just one more dead.
Who will provide for them -- who earn their bread? --
Wife and little ones: pity them, God,
Their earthly father is under the sod.

Only a miner killed, dead on the spot,
Poor hearts are breaking in yonder lone cot.
He died at his post, a hero as brave
As any who sleeps in a marble top grave.

Only a miner killed! God, if thou wilt,
Just introduce him to Vanderbilt,
Who, with his millions, if he is there,
Can't buy one interest -- even one share.

Only a miner, bury him quick;
Just write his name on a piece of a stick.
Though humble and plain be the poor miner's grave
Beyond, all are equal, the master and slave.

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