A Girl's Song by Unknown
At the time of the terrible accident a year or two ago at the coal mines
near Scranton, Penn., several men were buried for three days, and all
efforts to rescue them proved unsuccessful.
The majority of the miners were Germans. They were in a state of intense
excitement. Sympathy for the wives and children of the buried men, and
despair at their own fruitless efforts, had rendered them almost
A great mob of ignorant men and women assembled at the mouth of the mine
on the evening of the third day, in a condition of high nervous tension
which fitted them for any mad act. A sullen murmur arose that it was
folly to dig farther—that the men were dead. And this was followed by
cries of rage at the rich mine owners.
A hasty word or gesture might have produced an outbreak of fury.
Standing near me was a little German girl, perhaps eleven years old. Her
pale face and frightened glances from side to side showed that she fully
understood the danger of the moment.
Suddenly, with a great effort, she began to sing in a hoarse whisper
which could not be heard. Then she gained courage, and her sweet,
childish voice rang out in Luther's grand old hymn, familiar to every
German from his cradle, "A mighty fortress is out God."
There was silence like death. Then one voice joined the girl's, and
presently another and another, until from the whole great multitude rose
the solemn cry:—
With force of arms we nothing can,
Full soon are we o'erridden.
But for us fights the godly Man,
Whom God Himself hath bidden.
Ask ye His name?
Christ Jesus is His name.
A great quiet seemed to fall upon their hearts. They resumed their work
with fresh zeal, and before morning, the joyful cry came up from the pit
that the men were found—alive. Never was a word more in season than
that child's hymn.