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Ballad: King Coal

King Coal dwells ever underground, surrounded by his gnomes,
Who carve him chambers in the earth, and scoop out rocky domes.
Ever they work by torch-light there - the clear sun never shines
To glad the heart of the pygmies toiling, moiling in the mines,
But still they burrow like patient moles, they work and gayly sing,
Their voices ringing through the vaults in praise of their grimy king.

From "The Three Kings," published in The Harpers Monthly, April 1861.

Source: Thomas Dunn, English American Ballads (1879)