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This poem is often wrongly thought to be by Robert W Service. It is published here to the memory of Hugh Antoine D'Arcy, its rightful father.
An Evening with the Bard of the Yukon, July 18 th 2003 at 20.30pm in the Town-Hall of Lancieux, Brittany.
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Archives > Books and Poetry > Poetry > Ballads Of Cheechako > The Man from Eldorado

The Man from Eldorado

Published by Susan on 07/21/2003 (7747 reads)
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He's the man from Eldorado, and he's just arrived in town...

He's the man from Eldorado, and he's just arrived in town,
 In moccasins and oily buckskin shirt.
He's gaunt as any Indian, and pretty nigh as brown;
 He's greasy, and he smells of sweat and dirt.
He sports a crop of whiskers that would shame a healthy hog;
 Hard work has racked his joints and stooped his back;
He slops along the sidewalk followed by his yellow dog,
 But he's got a bunch of gold-dust in his sack.

He seems a little wistful as he blinks at all the lights,
 And maybe he is thinking of his claim
And the dark and dwarfish cabin where he lay and dreamed at nights,
 (Thank God, he'll never see the place again!)
Where he lived on tinned tomatoes, beef embalmed and sourdough bread,
 On rusty beans and bacon furred with mould;
His stomach's out of kilter and his system full of lead,
 But it's over, and his poke is full of gold.

He has panted at the windlass, he has loaded in the drift,
 He has pounded at the face of oozy clay;
He has taxed himself to sickness, dark and damp and double shift,
 He has labored like a demon night and day.
And now, praise God, it's over, and he seems to breathe again
 Of new-mown hay, the warm, wet, friendly loam;
He sees a snowy orchard in a green and dimpling plain,
 And a little vine-clad cottage, and it's--Home.

                                       II


He's the man from Eldorado, and he's had a bite and sup,
 And he's met in with a drouthy friend or two;
He's cached away his gold-dust, but he's sort of bucking up,
 So he's kept enough to-night to see him through.
His eye is bright and genial, his tongue no longer lags;
`His heart is brimming o'er with joy and mirth;
He may be far from savory, he may be clad in rags,
`But to-night he feels as if he owns the earth.

Says he: "Boys, here is where the shaggy North and I will shake;
 I thought I'd never manage to get free.
I kept on making misses; but at last I've got my stake;
 There's no more thawing frozen muck for me.
I am going to God's Country, where I'll live the simple life;
 I'll buy a bit of land and make a start;
I'll carve a little homestead, and I'll win a little wife,
 And raise ten little kids to cheer my heart."

They signified their sympathy by crowding to the bar;
 They bellied up three deep and drank his health.
He shed a radiant smile around and smoked a rank cigar;
 They wished him honor, happiness and wealth.
They drank unto his wife to be--that unsuspecting maid;
 They drank unto his children half a score;
And when they got through drinking very tenderly they laid
 The man from Eldorado on the floor.

                                       III

He's the man from Eldorado, and he's only starting in
 To cultivate a thousand-dollar jag.
His poke is full of gold-dust and his heart is full of sin,
 And he's dancing with a girl called Muckluck Mag.
She's as light as any fairy; she's as pretty as a peach;
 She's mistress of the witchcraft to beguile;
There's sunshine in her manner, there is music in her speech,
 And there's concentrated honey in her smile.

                                   

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