How Long?

A poem by Pat O'Cotter

As long as lure o' placer gold
Brings North the best ye breed,
As long as tales of camps and trails
Are planted with your seed,
As long as red blood courses thru
And warms adventure's sons,
They'll sally forth, bound for the North,
Misfortune's chosen ones.

As long as snow slides claim their toll
And glaciers split and rend,
And sweepers turn the flimsy craft
And trails come to an end;
As long as flashing Northern Lights
Flame in the Arctic sky,
Your boldest ones, your bravest sons
Come North to win or die.

As long as lust of wealth obtains
And gold will buy all things,
And bank accounts but mark the line
'Twixt shovel stiffs and kings;
As long as fancy rides free reined
And distant fields seem fair,
They'll seek the ship and make the trip
To the land of Do and Dare.

As long as birds mate in the spring
And moose run in the fall,
And widows win the college youth
And hold his heart in thrall;
As long as chance for fortune's smile
Can be centered in one throw,
This is the truth, the Nation's youth
Will hear the call and go.

As long as water runs down hill
And smoke goes up from fire;
As long as pleasure precedes pain
And women love for hire;
As long as Klondike widows
Trail thru Outside Caf├ęs
Some one must stick on the lonesome creek
For there's ever the "him" that pays.

As long as "huskies" curse the moon
And creeks remain unnamed;
As long as quicksands mask the bar
And there's placer ground unclaimed;
As long as "pay" is found and staked
By some deep-sea-going Swede,
That gypsy trace that marks our race
Will out, then we stampede.

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