I will not wash my face;
        I will not brush my hair;
I "pig" around the place --
        There's nobody to care.
Nothing but rock and tree;
        Nothing but wood and stone;
Oh God, it's hell to be
        Alone, alone, alone.
Snow-peaks and deep-gashed draws
        Corral me in a ring.
I feel as if I was
        The only living thing
On all this blighted earth;
        And so I frowst and shrink,
And crouching by my hearth,
        I hear the thoughts I think.
I think of all I miss --
        The boys I used to know;
The girls I used to kiss;
        The coin I used to blow:
The bars I used to haunt;
        The racket and the row;
The beers I didn't want
        (I wish I had 'em now).
Day after day the same,
        Only a little worse;
No one to grouch or blame --
        Oh, for a loving curse!
Oh, in the night I fear,
        Haunted by nameless things,
Just for a voice to cheer,
        Just for a hand that clings!
Faintly as from a star
        Voices come o'er the line;
Voices of ghosts afar,
        Not in this world of mine.
Lives in whose loom I grope;
        Words in whose weft I hear
Eager the thrill of hope
        Awful the chill of fear.
I'm thinking out aloud;
        I reckon that is bad;
(The snow is like a shroud) --
        Maybe I'm going mad.
Say! wouldn't that be tough?
        This awful hush that hugs
And chokes one is enough
        To make a man go "bugs".
There's not a thing to do;
        I cannot sleep at night;
No wonder I'm so blue;
        Oh, for a friendly fight!
The din and rush of strife;
        A music-hall aglow;
A crowd, a city, life --
        Dear God, I miss it so!
Here, you have moped enough!
        Brace up and play the game!
But say, it's awful tough --
        Day after day the same
(I've said that twice, I bet).
        Well, there's not much to say.
I wish I had a pet,
        Or something I could play.
Cheer up! don't get so glum
        And sick of everything;
The worst is yet to come;
        God help you till the Spring.
God shield you from the Fear;
        Teach you to laugh, not moan.
Ha! ha! it sounds so queer --
        Alone, alone, alone.

- Robert Service, Ballads of a Cheechako, p. 105-108, 1909.

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