Up the dusty road from Denver town
To where the mines their treasures hide,
The road is long, and many miles,
The golden styre and town divide.
Along this road one summer's day,
There toiled a tired man,
Begrimed with dust, the weary way
He cussed, as some folks can.
The stranger hailed a passing team
That slowly dragged its load along;
His hail roused up the teamster old,
And checked his merry song.
"Say-y, stranger!" "Wal, whoap."
"Ken I walk behind your load
A spell in this road?"
"Wal, no, yer can't walk, but git
Up on this seat an' ride; git up hyer."
"Nop, that ain't what I want,
Fur it's in yer dust, that's like a smudge,
I want to trudge, for I desarve it."
"Wal, pards, I ain't no hog, an' I don't
Own this road, afore nor 'hind.
So jest git right in the dust
An' walk, if that's the way yer 'clined.
Gee up, ger lang!" the driver said.
The creaking wagon moved amain,
While close behind the stranger trudged,
And clouds of dust rose up again.
The teamster heard the stranger talk
As if two trudged behind his van,
Yet, looking 'round, could only spy
A single lonely man.
Yet heard the teamster words like these
Come from the dust as from a cloud,
For the weary traveler spoke his mind.
His thoughts he uttered loud,
And this the burden of his talk:
"Walk, now, you ——, walk!
Not the way you went to Denver?
Walk, —— ——! Jest walk!
"Went up in the mines an' made yer stake,
'Nuff to take yer back to ther state
Whar yer wur born.
Whar'n hell's yer corn?
Wal, walk, you ——, walk!
"Dust in yer eyes, dust in yer nose,
Dust down yer throat, and thick
On yer clothes. Can't hardly talk?
I know it, but walk, you ——, walk!
"What did yer do with all yer tin?
Ya-s, blew every cent of it in;
Got drunk, got sober, got drunk agin.
Wal, walk, ——! Jest walk.
"What did yer do? What didn't yer do?
Why, when ye war thar, yer gold-dust flew,
Yer thought it fine to keep op'nin' wine.
Now walk, you ——, walk.
"Stop to drink? What—water?
Water with you warn't anywhere.
'Twas wine, Extra Dry. Oh,
You flew high—
Now walk, you ——, walk.
"Chokes yer, this dust? Wal, that
Ain't the wust,
When yer get back whar the
No pick, no shovel, no pan;
Wal, yer a healthy man,
The fools don't all go to Denver town,
Nor do they all from the mines come down.
'Most all of us have in our day—
In some sort of shape, some kind of way—
Painted the town with the old stuff,
Dipped in stocks or made some bluff,
Mixed wines, old and new,
Got caught in wedlock by a shrew,
Stayed out all night, tight,
Rolled home in the morning light,
With crumpled tie and torn clawhammer,
'N' woke up next day with a katzenjammer,
And walked, oh ——, how we walked.
Now, don't try to yank every bun,
Don't try to have all the fun,
Don't think that you know it all,
Don't think real estate won't fall,
Don't try to bluff on an ace,
Don't get stuck on a pretty face,
Don't believe every jay's talk—
For if you do you can bet you'll walk!