Francis William Lauderdale Adams

Here you will find the Poem In The Pit of poet Francis William Lauderdale Adams

In The Pit

'Chant of the Firemen'

'THIS is the steamer's pit.
The ovens like dragons of fire
Glare thro' their close-lidded eyes
With restless hungry desire.
'Down from the tropic night
Rushes the funnelled air;
Our heads expand and fall in;
Our hearts thump huge as despair.
''Tis we make the bright hot blood
Of this throbbing inanimate thing;
And our life is no less the fuel
Than the coal we shovel and fling.
'And lest of this we be proud
Or anything but meek,
We are well cursed and paid ?
Ten shillings a week!'
Round, round, round in its tunnel
The shaft turns pitiless strong,
While lost souls cry out in the darkness:
'How long, O Lord, how long?'