Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, GOLD!, by PATRICK REGINALD CHALMERS

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GOLD!, by            
First Line: Gold! 'mid the north's magnetic hush
Last Line: A finer ore than e'er was minted!
Subject(s): Gold Mines & Miners

["It is announced from Vancouver that the rumours of a big strike of gold at
Bitter Creek have been confirmed."—Daily Paper.]

GOLD!' mid the North's magnetic hush,
They've struck it in the good old manner,
Not the beringed promoter's gush,
No swank of your prospectus-planner,
But the true kind that played its part
With bowies, "guns," and forty-niners,
When (by the magic of Bret Harte)
You found no life excelled the miner's!

How often have you, beat but game,
Your old red shirt without a collar,
Toiled at the stiff, abandoned claim
You'd purchased with your last half dollar;
Sure-armed, you swung your pick aloft
Through days of doubt and hours of danger,
Then, lo! the vein—dull, yellowy, soft,
And — "Sort o' think you'd struck it, Stranger!"

And up the pass, through pine and snow,
You've heard the river in the cañon
Shouting a thousand foot below,
The timber-wolf your sole companion;
With aching back you've faced the hill,
You've searched each likely ledge and dug it,
And whooped the eagle from his kill
When you acclaimed a ten-ounce nugget!

You've swaggered into camp at night,
Bronzed, bold, a devil of a fellow;
You've seen the windy dark alight,
Stern faces round the fire grown mellow;
And, where the fanged Sierras rise
Up to the moon's cold flooding crystal,
You've lain and watched the opal skies,
Your head upon a loaded pistol!

Tap of the pick! it's waked, in sooth,
The kindly, half-forgotten fairies,
Friends of the camping fires of youth
That shone on Indians, trails, and prairies;
Whose sparks still through the darkness fall
In flashing showers of gold unstinted,
The purest metal of them all,
A finer ore than e'er was minted!

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