Rhymes of a Roughneck eBook

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

You give your all, and you slave your life
  In a struggle to hold one man;
You think you’re paid if he call you wife
  And be true to you for a span. 
You keep his house and you bear his child
  And you walk with your head held high
But most of his love, and his kisses go
  To the woman that you pass by.

The favors you give, I sell for gold,
  And men prize what costs them high;
You never will learn that love goes out
  With the tear in a woman’s eye;
That the patient drudge who sits at home
  And learns to save and to mend
Can never hold the light of love
  But is doomed to lose in the end.

So I follow the old dishonored trade,
  Bedecked in garments fine,
And the cream of the earth is saved for me
  In raiment and food and wine. 
And life to me is a merry game
  Tho, sometimes, I weep and sigh,
For deep down in your heart, do you envy me
  The woman that you pass by?


Why is it Alaskans all come back
  When they’ve quit this land for good? 
Why is it that no man stays away
  When he’s sworn to his friends he would? 
Where lies the grip this country hath
  All tangled around the heart
That takes a grip that can never slip
  And can never be torn apart?

Is it the lure of the summer sunshine
  That goes to the head like wine? 
Is it the lure of the far flung meadows
  Of the shadowy scented pine? 
Is it the lure of going where none have gone
  Of just being alone in the wild? 
Is it the lure of the ancient glaciers
  That were old when Christ was a child?

They come here wild, athirst for gold
  They would win and run away,
They lose the stake they brought along
  And then they have to stay. 
Here each one follows his own bent,
  The mines, the hills, the mart,
Work’s but a name, the end’s the same,
  The country steals your heart.

There’s a lure to the land of the poppy,
  There’s a lure to the land of your birth,
You swear you abhor it, and yet you’ll long for it
  As no other land on this earth. 
There’s the lure of the snow mantled vastness,
  There’s the lure of each valley and hill,
Of friends that you’ve met, that you’ll never forget
  And you’ll want to come back, and you will.


I’ve tramped across her endless miles of tundra,
I’ve rafted all her rapid flowing streams,
  She’s kept me on the hummer,
  I’ve fought mosquits in summer
And “siwashed” neath Aurora’s wintry beams,
  And still, I like Alaska.

I went a winter once on pay streak bacon,
I’ve gone a year on nothing much but beans,
  I’ve squandered all my time checks,
  The kind they give us roughnecks,
And haven’t got a dollar in my jeans,
  And still, I like Alaska.

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