Rhymes of a Roughneck eBook

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


The China Coast’s a dumping ground
  And the South Sea gets its share
Of the kind of men that don’t make good
The kind of man that never could
  The men that never care.

A worthless, careless drinking lot
  Combed out from between the Poles. 
It’s gin, and cards, a woman’s breath,
Laughter and love and sudden death
  And the Devil gets their souls.

It’s a throwback to a weaker strain
  That’s washed by the Tropic tide. 
And a mixture of Dago and Japanese
Latin and Jew and Portugese
  Crops out thru a sun-tanned hide.

But the Northland gets a sterner breed
  To fuse in its harder mould. 
It’s the breed of men that don’t know fail;
That’s the breed of men that hit the trail
  For the fabled land of gold.

They’re a sturdy, fearless, fighting lot
  And they play the game to win. 
They fall for women, wine, the game
And win or lose, they smile the same
  And to quit is their only sin.

Here the Norsman bunks with the canny Scot
  And the lad from the Emerald Isle
Works side by side with Russ and Dane,
North-bred men of brawn and brain,
  Men that are worth your while.

So me for the land of the Midnight Sun
  With the north lights in the sky,
Me for the land that mothers this race
Where you have to fight to hold your place,
  Where you can’t quit till you die.


The dream of the white man ever goes out
  To the fight that can never be won,
And ever he plans to do the things
  That they say can never be done. 
It’s seldom he values the things that are
  What he craves he may never gain,
Yet ever he tries, till the day he dies
  And then feels he has lived in vain.

He climbs to the top of the highest hills
  To search out the vales afar;
He bedrocks a hole on the deepest creeks
  He hitches his cart to a star. 
He’s ever the first in the far stampede
  As he chases the rainbow’s blend,
But it’s not the need, and it’s not the greed,
  It’s the wanting to win in the end.

And whether he strives in the lofty range
  Or tries in the crowded mart,
The longing to do what has never been done
  Is uppermost in his heart. 
He tries to build where none other has built,
  Win the maid that none other has won,
To find the gold that he never can hold,
  To finish what cannot be done.

He lives his life in a trying way
  And he scorns the things that are tame,
If all seems lost, he still fights on,
  For ever he plays the game. 
And the efforts he makes as he strives to win
  Are a credit to him and his breed,
And the gods will count and give full amount
  And accept the act for the deed.


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