Rhymes of a Roughneck eBook

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

This Land’s not the land of the weakling
  And the men up here know what we need,
And we’re sick of your bunch from the Outside
  Who’s only incentive is greed. 
We’ve stood for Pinchot’s conservation
  And we’ve stood for your carpet-bag horde
Who have grabbed off the jobs in Alaska
  As a sort of political reward.

But, Sam, take a tip from a Roughneck,
  Go slow now and don’t crowd your hand
Or some day you may find that the orphan
  Has quit creeping and learned how to stand. 
Don’t make us the goat for the theories
  Advanced by some government cog,
And don’t use this land as a station
  For trying things out on the dog.

We gaze o’er the line of the Yukon
  As we’re watching our neighbors at play
And we wonder why Our Uncle Sammy
  Don’t treat his Alaskans that way. 
We look at their broad graded highways
  And then at our own half blazed trails
And, Sam, it comes damned nigh to envy
  When we think of their thrice a week mails.

They don’t know the word conservation,
  Their resources, all theirs to use,
And when they ask their Uncle to help them
  Their Uncle don’t often refuse. 
Their Uncle has helped them develop,
  Furnished work there for men who were broke,
And, Sam, when it comes to Coast Lights
  They make ours look like a joke.

But in spite of it all, Sam, we love you,
  We love every thread in the Flag,
We love every stream in Alaska,
  We love every cliff, every crag. 
We’re not like the Woman or Dog, Sam,
  And we’re not like the Walnut Tree
Cause we want to be loved in return, Sam,
  And, Sam, you are blind, or you’d see.

Old English Proverb

“A Woman, a Dog, and a Walnut Tree
The more you beat them the better they’ll be.”


Along in early spring time, as the sun starts swinging North
To linger with the land it loves, and violets peep forth,
When the water starts to running thru the riffle blocks at noon
And you figure that you’ll clean up, about the first of June. 
You’ve been thru a long hard winter, but you see the end in sight,
You don’t worry ’bout the cleanup, cause you know the pay is right;
But you’re feeling sort of restless, as your blood warms with the sun
And your heart will start to itching, when the water starts to run.

You may leave your Camp at evening and mush away to Town
To dally with the hootch a bit, but the feeling will not down. 
You may mix up in a poker game, or try the dance hall’s lure
But you’re fighting off a feeling, that the old cures cannot cure. 
You’ve got that longing feeling that there’s nothing satisfies,
And your pard can’t interest you, no matter how he tries,
You’re lonesome, moody, restless, out at Camp, or in the Town
Your mind will not rest easy, and your troubles will not drown.

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