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He mined on the bar

Till he couldn't pay rates;
He was smashed by a car

When he tunnelled with Bates;
And right on the top of his trouble kem his wife and five

kids from the States.

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It was rough,--mighty rough;

But the boys they stood by,
And they brought him the stuff

For a house, on the sly;
And the old woman,-well, she did washing, and took on

when no one was nigh.

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But this ’yer luck of Dow's

Was so powerful mean
That the spring near his house

Dried right up on the green;
And he sunk forty feet down for water, but nary a drop to

be seen.

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Then the bar petered out,

And the boys wouldn't stay;
And the chills got about,

And his wife fell away;
But Dow in his well kept a peggin' in his usual ridikilous

way.

One day, -it was June, -

And a year ago, jest, -
This Dow kem at noon

To his work like the rest,
With a shovel and pick on his shoulder, and a derringer bid

in his breast.

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He goes to the well,

And he stands on the brink,
And stops for a spell

Jest to listen and think:
For the sun in his eyes (jest like this, sir!), you see, kinder

made the cuss blink.

Dow's Flat

2105

His two ragged gals

In the gulch were at play, And a gownd that was Sal's

Kinder flapped on a bay: Not much for a man to be leavin', but his all,--as I've heer'd

the folks say.

And—That's a peart hoss

Thet you've got-ain't it now? What might be her cost?

Eh? Oh!-Well, then, DowLet's see, --well, that forty-foot grave wasn't his, sir, that

day, anyhow.

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For a blow of his pick

Sorter caved in the side,
And he looked and turned sick,

Then he trembled and cried.
For you see the dern cuss had struck—“Water?”—beg your

parding, young man,--there you lied!

It was gold,-in the quartz,

And it ran all alike; And I reckon five oughts

Was the worth of that strike; And that house with the coopilow's his'n,--which the same

isn't bad for a Pike.

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Thet's why it's Dow's Flat;

And the thing of it is That he kinder got that

Through sheer contrairiness: For 'twas water the derned cuss was seekin', and his luck

made him certain to miss.

Thet's so! Thar's your way,

To the left of yon tree; But-a-look h’yur, say?

Won't you come up to tea? No? Well, then the next time you're passin'; and ask aft Dow,- and thet's me.

Bret Harle (18

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PLAIN LANGUAGE FROM TRUTHFUL JAMES

TABLE MOUNTAIN, 1870
WHICH I wish to remark,

And my language is plain,
That for ways that are dark

And for tricks that are vain,
The heathen Chinee is peculiar:

Which the same I would rise to explain.
Ah Sin was his name;

And I shall not deny,
In regard to the same,

What that name might imply;
But his smile it was pensive and childlike.

As I frequent remarked to Bill Nye.
It was August the third,

And quite soft was the skies;
Which it might be inferred

That Ah Sin was likewise;
Yet he played it that day upon William

And me in a way I despise.
Which we had a small game,

And Ah Sin took a hand:
It was Euchre. The same

He did not understand;
But he smiled, as he sat by the table,

With the smile that was childlike and bland.

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Yet the cards they were stocked

In a way that I grieve,
And my feelings were shocked

At the state of Nye's sleeve,
Which was stuffed full of aces and bowers,

And the same with intent to deceive.

But the hands that were played

By that heathen Chinee,
nd the points that he made,
Were quite frightful to see,

The Retort

2107

Till at last he put down a right bower,

Which the same Nye had dealt unto me. Then I looked up at Nye,

And he gazed upon me;
And he rose with a sigh,

And said, “Can this be?
We are ruined by Chinese cheap labor," —

And he went for that heathen Chinee.

In the scene that ensued

I did not take a hand,
But the floor it was strewed,

Like the leaves on the strand,
With the cards that Ah Sin had been hiding,

In the game "he did not understand.”
In his sleeves, which were long,

He had twenty-four packs,-
Which was coming it strong,

Yet I state but the facts;
And we found on his nails, which were taper,

What is frequent in tapers,—that's wax.
Which is why I remark,

And my language is plain,
That for ways that are dark,

And for tricks that are vain,
The heathen Chinee is peculiar,
Which the same I am free to maintain.

Bret Harte (1839-1902]

THE RETORT

Old Birch, who taught the village school,

Wedded a maid of homespun habit; He was as stubborn as a mule,

And she as playful as a rabbit. Poor Kate had scarce become a wife

Before her husband sought to make her The pink of country-polished life,

And prim and formal as a Quaker.

One day the tutor went abroad,

And simple Katie sadly missed him;
When he returned, behind her lord

She shyly stole, and fondly kissed him.

The husband's anger rose, and red

And white his face alternate grew: “Less freedom, ma'am!” Kate sighed and said, “O, dear! I didn't know 'twas you!''

George Pope Morris (1802-1864)

THE FLITCH OF DUNMOW

COME, Micky and Molly and dainty Dolly,

Come, Betty and blithesome Bill;
Ye gossips and neighbors, away with your labors!

!
Come to the top of the hill.
For there are Jenny and jovial Joe;
Jolly and jolly, jolly they go,

Jogging over the hill.

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By apple and berry, 'tis twelve months merry

Since Jenny and Joe were wed!
And never a bother or quarrelsome pother

To trouble the board or bed.
So Joe and Jenny are off to Dunmow:
Happy and happy, happy they go,

Young and rosy and red.

Oh, Jenny's as pretty as doves in a ditty;

And Jenny, her eyes are black;
And Joey's a fellow as merry and mellow

As ever shouldered a sack.
So quick, good people, and come to the show.
Merry and merry, merry they go,

Bumping on Dobbin's back.
They've pranked up old Dobbin with ribbons and bobbin,

And tethered his tail in a string!
The fat flitch of bacon is not to be taken

By many that wear the ring!

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