Rhymes of a Roughneck eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 37 pages of information about Rhymes of a Roughneck.

THE BIRTH OF THE LAND

For a thousand years the Devil crouched
  On the white hot flags of hell: 
For a thousand years the Devil cursed
  The imps that had chained him well;
For a thousand years the Devil sulked
  And planned with his hell-trained brain
Of the things he’d do, when his term was thru,
  And freed from the blistering chain.

He’d even the score with the men of earth,
  And give them back pain for pain,
For all of the days he had felt the blaze
  And the sear of the galling chain. 
And it came to pass when his time was up
  And hell’s gates were opened wide
That all hell rang, and the clinkered imps sang
  When the Devil passed Outside.

“I have served my time,” the Devil said
  As he halted by heaven’s gate;
I have sweated in hell for a thousand years
  And each year was a year of hate. 
I have framed my plans for a thousand years,
  I have worked out the details well
Now I’d have a place near the human race
  As a sort of a prep school for hell.

The sons of men, on the earth below
  Have scarcely a chance to sin,
Churched, belled and gowned, they mope around
  By precept, all sealed in;
There is never a sin for lust of flesh
  Nor sin for a man struck blow,
And the red blood crime of the olden time
  Has passed with the long ago.

Hell’s motley crew is scarce worth coal
  When they come to the thing called death;
They squat on the coals with the real damned souls
  And listen with bated breath,
To the tales of the earth, when the world was new,
When a man had to fight for his own,
When he took his wife at the risk of his life
  And killed for a half-baked bone.

Now I’d build a place where a man might sin
  For the sake of his own desires;
Make his the cause, and his the laws,
  And the penalty, mine own fires;
Hast a place on earth to breed such men
  Each for his own deeds blamed? 
If you’ll give me a place, I’ll breed a race
  That hell may not be shamed.

The God King sighed as he searched the plat
  And the map of the earth below;
I have given a place for every race
  In the belt from snow to snow. 
I have given a home to each bird and beast
  For even the fox has its hole,
I have given all land to the sons of man
  And I’ve builded a home for his soul.

In the seven days that I toiled below
  When I builded the seas and lands,
There was much to do, and I didn’t get thru
  And one place unfinished stands. 
It’s the part of my work that I really regret,
  For I know it’s the worst of the lot,
It’s known down below as The Land of the Snow,
  Or, The Country that God forgot.

It stands apart by the Northern Pole,
  Unfinished, forgotten, alone,
And no man’s hand has won this land,
  And no man calls it his own. 
The country is made up of odds and ends,
  Unfinished mountain, and swamp and lake,
Stuff that couldn’t be used when the earth was fused;
  If you want it, it’s yours to take.

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Rhymes of a Roughneck from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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