Rhymes of a Roughneck eBook

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

As long as water runs down hill
  And smoke goes up from fire;
As long as pleasure precedes pain
  And women love for hire;
As long as Klondike widows
  Trail thru Outside Cafes
Some one must stick on the lonesome creek
  For there’s ever the “him” that pays.

As long as “huskies” curse the moon
  And creeks remain unnamed;
As long as quicksands mask the bar
  And there’s placer ground unclaimed;
As long as “pay” is found and staked
  By some deep-sea-going Swede,
That gypsy trace that marks our race
  Will out, then we stampede.


A man that’s spent years knocking round “out in front”
  Has most usually had lots of pals—­
He’s mixed up with pardners at various times
  And he’s had his affairs with the gals. 
Now, a pardner’s peculiar in lots of his ways
  And he’ll ditch you for various reasons,
And a gal never knows straight up from twice
  And her mind seems to change with the seasons.

I’ve been in on good ground with pardners I’ve staked
  And I thought they were square, till I found
They were trying to cross me, the miserable pups,
  And whipsaw me out of my ground. 
I’ve had a few pards that would stand the hard grind
  And they’d stick through hard luck night and day;
They were all you could ask while you rustled for grub,
  But they blew up when you uncovered the “pay.”

Way back in the “eighties” when I’m just a kid,
  I crossed up with a breed gal I’d met
One winter at Circle; she cleaned me that year
  And skipped out with all she could get. 
I’ve fallen for females in half of the camps
  That’s spread over this country up here,
But “square guys” or “pretzels” I couldn’t get by
  And none of them stuck for a year.

I got kind of discouraged and quit the she sex
  And figgered I’d just herd with males,
But it don’t make no difference, I guess that I’m wrong,
 ’Cause there’s always the parting of trails. 
I’ve had lots of dogs, but a dog always dies,
  Or else the poor devil gets killed. 
When you like ’em and lose ’em, their loss leaves a hole
  That seems for a time can’t be filled.

So pardners and females and dogs is taboo
  And I know, ’cause I’ve fussed with ’em all. 
There’s only one pal that I know is true blue
  And it’s that Thirty U.S. on the wall. 
She’s stood by my shoulder and stopped a brown bear
  And she keeps the cache full in the Fall;
She’s got the one talk that a claim jumper knows
  And she craves no attention at all.

I’m getting old now, and some sot in my ways,
  And I don’t loosen up like I did. 
I’m slower to make friends and slower to trust
  Than I used to be when I’m a kid. 
So it’s good-by to females and good-by to dogs,
  And good-by to pardners and all,
For the only one pal that I find I can trust
  Is that Thirty U.S. on the wall.

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