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Ballads of a Cheechako

by Robert W. Service

The complete text of the 1909 book of poetry by "The Bard of the Yukon"


(poem title, and first line) Rare and Antiquarian 234x60

To the Man of the High North
  My rhymes are rough, and often in my rhyming

Men of the High North
  Men of the High North, the wild sky is blazing;

The Ballad of the Northern Lights
  One of the Down and Out--that's me. Stare at me well, ay, stare!

The Ballad of the Black Fox Skin
  There was Claw-fingered Kitty and Windy Ike living the life of shame,

The Ballad of Pious Pete
  I tried to refine that neighbor of mine, honest to God, I did.

The Ballad of Blasphemous Bill
  I took a contract to bury the body of blasphemous Bill MacKie,

The Ballad of One-Eyed Mike
  This is the tale that was told to me by the man with the crystal eye,

The Ballad of the Brand
  'Twas up in a land long famed for gold, where women were far and rare,

The Ballad of Hard-Luck Henry
  Now wouldn't you expect to find a man an awful crank

The Man from Eldorado
  He's the man from Eldorado, and he's just arrived in town,

My Friends
  The man above was a murderer, the man below was a thief;

The Prospector
  I strolled up old Bonanza, where I staked in ninety-eight,

The Black Sheep
  Hark to the ewe that bore him:

The Telegraph Operator
  I will not wash my face;

The Wood-Cutter
  The sky is like an envelope,

The Song of the Mouth-Organ
  I'm a homely little bit of tin and bone;

The Trail of Ninety-Eight
  Gold! We leapt from our benches. Gold! We sprang from our stools.

The Ballad of Gum-Boot Ben
  He was an old prospector with a vision bleared and dim.

Clancy of the Mounted Police
  In the little Crimson Manual it's written plain and clear

  "Black is the sky, but the land is white--

  We talked of yesteryears, of trails and treasure,

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