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The Homestake Horror

Poem by John Garvin

Homestake Mine Tragedy – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Homestake Horror

From lonely Homestake mountain,

Where the snow lies hard and deep–

From lonely Homestake mountain,

Where the rocks rise high and steep–

There came a tale of horror,

A deadening tale of woe:

“Ten men are lying buried–

Crushed, smothered in the snow.”

Around the old log cabins

Loud roared the threatening wind;

The snow in drifts was heaping,

Yet all seemed safe within.

Crash! came the thundering avalanche,

Like an angry ocean wave,

And the slumbering men were buried

Within a living grave.

Oh! who can tell the horror,

The terror or the pain,

The hopes, the fears, the struggles,

Of those imprisoned men?

For none escaped to tell the tale

Of overwhelming woe–

Of how or when they were entombed

By everlasting snow.

A town is clothed in mourning,

A funeral march is played,

Ten honest hearts, sad-fated

Beneath the sod are laid;

And heaven smiles a blessing

Upon those left behind,

Who braved the mountain’s perils

Their comrades’ fate to find.

–John Garvin

Written for the Leadville Herald, May 3, 1885