Rhymes of a Roughneck eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 48 pages of information about Rhymes of a Roughneck.


(A Steal from Kipling)

If you can hit the trail in zero weather
  And laugh at frozen hand, or foot or face;
If you can eat your dogs, and still keep moving
  And beat the rest, and hold the stampede’s pace;
If you can stake and dig alone, unaided
  And hold your ground, if needs be with a gun
And find the gold and have some lawyer steal it,
  And lose, and start again, and call it fun.

If you can go a year on mouldy bacon
  And fight the scurvy off with bayo beans;
If you can jump your socks and do your washing
  And smile the while you patch your threadbare jeans;
If you can laugh when sordid hunger mocks you
  And smile while passing strangers eat your grub;
If you can boost when everybody knocks you
  And know him wrong who holds you but a dub.

If you can still the pain when Outside calls you
  And choke back thoughts of friends you still hold dear;
If you can still the dreams when night befalls you
  And wake and strike while eyes and brain are clear;
If you can wait and stick it out a-smiling
  When longing letters come to you from home,
And then don’t find the taste of “hootch” beguiling
  You’ll like this Land, from Seward up to Nome.

If you can bear the deadly strain of waiting
  Till your turn comes, and fortune smiles on you;
If you can fight and lose and keep on fighting
  And to your early promises stay true;
If you can go thru Hell to spend the summer
  And cuss, and freeze, and starve the winter thru
And start in broke again another New Year
  You don’t need this Land to make a man of you.

If you can beat the Row, the Game, the Dance-hall
  And all men’s pleasures, that you know are sin;
If you can live alone, and not get lonesome
  Nor heed the “lady” when she says “come in”: 
If you can pick a winner from the “wild cats”
  And hold and hope when everything looks blue;
If you can give up everything you’ve ever cared for
  Then Alaska is the only place for you.


While all Europe is a shambles
  And the whole world is at war,
And half the land the sun shines on
  Is drenched in human gore;
When every Nation counts the men
  It knows are tried and true
We send this message to you, Sam,
  “Alaska stands with you.” 
You never treated us quite right—­
  You grabbed away our coal,
You reserved all our fire wood
  And what we’ve used, we’ve stole. 
You soaked us on our cable tolls
  But we don’t give a damn
Even at twenty-eight cents per word
  we’re with you, uncle Sam.

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