Rhymes of a Roughneck eBook

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

He pulls on our sleds in the winter
  He’s first in the rushing stampede
He goes where a horse couldn’t travel
  And besides that he rustles his feed. 
He takes a pack saddle in summer
  And follows us off thru the hills
And when we go short on the grub pile
  He shares up whatever he kills.

’Twas a malamute first scaled the Chilkoot
  At the time of the great Klondike charge;
’Twas a malamute first saw Lake Bennett
  And left his footprints at La Barge;
They hauled the first mail into Dawson,
  That Land of the Old Timer’s dream,
And when Wada first drove in from Fairbanks
  He was driving a malamute team.

They broke the first trail into Bettles
  With no guide save the lone Northern Star;
They freighted next year to Kantishna
  And from there to the famed Chandelar. 
They know the long trail to Innoko,
  Tacotna and Iditarod too,
For there’s never a Camp in the Northland
  But what these same malamutes knew.

They brought the first sport to the Nome Beach
  Where they showed up in action and deed
That the North dog is game as they make them
  And besides that has plenty of speed. 
He came home with the bacon from Candle
  Like a bat out of Hell, thru the snow,
And the plunger that cashed in his “out tab”
  Was his pardner, the Old Sourdough.

So it seems to me kind of unfair now
  As we drift toward that permanent Camp
Where the angels are running a dance hall
  And a millionaire grades with a tramp;
Where the trails are located on pay dirt
  And a grub stake can never expire—­
Well, if they shut out my dog, they can keep it
  And I’ll “siwash” it, down by Hell’s Fire.

They herald the growth of the Northland
  And progress is marked by their trail;
A railroad now goes where they brought out
  The Seward-Iditarod mail. 
He’s first in the growth of Alaska
  And without him this land would be lost,
For there’s never a stream in this country
  That the malamutes’ trail has not crossed.

But you can’t tell me God would have Heaven
  So a man couldn’t mix with his friends;
That we’re doomed to meet disappointment
  When we come to the place the trail ends. 
That would be a low-grade sort of Heaven
  And I’d never regret a damned sin
If I mush up to the gates, white and pearly,
  And they don’t let my malamute in.


Some sigh for the breath of the desert
  Where the stifling heat waves blow;
Some pant for the trackless tundra
  And the sting of the cold and snow;
Some long for the wash of a sultry sea
  As it breaks on a tropic shore;
Some pine for the breeze of the northern seas
  And the sound of the Arctic’s roar.

The things that men love be countless
  But they’re seldom the same with two,
For the things I care for most of all
  Might never appeal to you. 
Some men run to wine and woman,
  Some long for a wife and a home,
And he drifts with the tide, unsatisfied,
  Who leaves these things to roam.

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