After six hours in Marcasse with Jacques, from lack of air,
Vincent felt faint, panting, choking, with heat and dust.
He felt he could not endure this torture anymore.
He was thankful to Jacques when they decided to return.
They had to still walk for half an hour to reach the cage.
Vincent blindly followed him with stinging, coal sweat in his eyes.
When the cage reached the top, Vincent stepped out,
Dazed by the sudden, feeble light of the sun. He rushed
To the washroom and looked at his face. It was pitch black!
He did not wait to wash his face, instead ran out into field.
As the wind blew into his face, he felt he had experienced
A terrible nightmare! Was there justice in this world?
As he ran and stumbled down into the filthy labyrinth
Of the alleys in the ravine, there was a big question in his mind.
How can God let his children work in slavery, so deplorable?
When Vincent reached Decrucq's miserable shack,
He stopped and knocked. There was no answer for a while.
Then, a six-year old boy, thin and pale, opened the door.
The little boy's father -Decrucq, was in Marcasse mine,
While his mother was in Terril, both slogging in dirt and coal.
The little boy was in charge of his two siblings - infants.
As he watched the children, a chill ran through his spine.
When Madam Decrucq returned, she made some coffee,
It was bitter and cold, yet, Vincent drank it, to please the good lady.
The whole scene had a volcanic effect on Vincent's mind.
He had never, ever, seen such stark poverty and misery!
He thought, what was the use of prayers and the Gospel,
When men, women and children were made to work
Like slaves or animals, with no adequate wages,
Fair working hours, or any kind of protection from danger?
Vincent was choked with tears,
To see such apathy and poverty.
The few francs that Vincent had in his pocket,
He emptied it, and gave it all to Madam Decrucq,
He told her to buy some warm clothes for her infants.
As he returned to his room, Vincent was full of regrets.
Vincent realized he was a coward and a liar.
He preached virtues of poverty to the miners,
But he himself lived in comfort, with warm clothing.
His religion, sermons were absolutely of no use,
To the miners, whose life was a complete misery.
Vincent felt he had, once again, miserably failed in life!
A Biographical poem
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem