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The Ballad Of The Northern Lights

 One of the Down and Out--that's me.
Stare at me well, ay, stare! Stare and shrink--say! you wouldn't think that I was a millionaire.
Look at my face, it's crimped and gouged--one of them death-mask things; Don't seem the sort of man, do I, as might be the pal of kings? Slouching along in smelly rags, a bleary-eyed, no-good bum; A knight of the hollow needle, pard, spewed from the sodden slum.
Look me all over from head to foot; how much would you think I was worth? A dollar? a dime? a nickel? Why, I'm the wealthest man on earth.
No, don't you think that I'm off my base.
You'll sing a different tune If only you'll let me spin my yarn.
Come over to this saloon; Wet my throat--it's as dry as chalk, and seeing as how it's you, I'll tell the tale of a Northern trail, and so help me God, it's true.
I'll tell of the howling wilderness and the haggard Arctic heights, Of a reckless vow that I made, and how I staked the Northern Lights.

by Robert William Service
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