The Prospector                                                                                                   
My pick is stuck in my belt-loop, my pipe is stuck in my face,
I'm off to the snowy mountains, I'm moving from place to place,
With the clear, cool air about me and the chance of a “strike” ahead,
And all of my cares and troubles back in the town I've fled.

Smoking my strong tobacco, humming my happy song,
I'm off on the search for the gold I've hoped, the gold I have sought for long;
But whether I find it or fail once more, whatever my fate deems best,
At least Ill have been on the hike again and sated my deepest unrest.

By day in the barren gulches, or up on the snow fields sheen,
Or wandering through the valleys, all quiet and cool and green,
With an ice-cold torrent tumbling over the rocks and sand
And maybe a cordial rancher to shake me by the hand,

With a welcoming, “Howdy, stranger, would you care for a bite with me?”
Then a supper of spuds and bacon whose savor is heavenly,
And night comes over the mountains, and the heights and peaks assume
A dim and a vague translucence, like shadows of stately bloom.

Sometimes with no walls about me, no roof but the sky above,
I lie in my army blanket an-ponder on life and love?
Well, no, I pull on my briar, I'm held by the night in thrall
And I watch the thin smoke melt away and think of nothing at all.

Peace to the wide world's worries, they are millions of miles afar,
They look as distant and small to me as the uttermost tiny star,
And the night wind brushes my temples and drowsy visions creep
Into my idle, carefree brain-and then comes a dreamless sleep.

My pick is stuck in my belt-loop, my pipe is stuck in my face,
I'm off on another prospect, hoping that I may trace
Some vein of the yellow metal, or even the red or white,
And never was heart more eager, and never were hopes more bright.

What if I never strike it? You ask, with pitying smile;
Why, friend, the very searching is many times worth the while,
For it lifts my troubles from me and I know from the very start
That one sort of gold I am sure to gain-the gold of a carefree heart!



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