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Year after year he searched for the gold

That he felt in his heart was there,

And year after year he sifted and picked

Refusing to yield to despair.

He thought on little except the prize;

Of the nuggets that dully shone,

Till fact and fiction slowly merged

And the man and his dream became one.

 

Day by day in heat or cold,

Whatever the dawn might bring,

He scoured the hills and panned the streams

With only his donkey for friend.

 

“You wait, my Jane, the day will come

When heaven’s stars will sing,

And all the hills will dance with joy

And I shall be a king!

And you, you funny bag of bones

– so stout of heart and true –

You’ll have a carrot ten feet long

And a saddle of sapphire blue”.

 

Years later, O so many had fled,

They found them ‘mid the rocks – stone dead;

Some shook their heads and looking, sighed,

While others passed – on the farther side.

 

Yet oft-times on the silent hills,

When the moon is a floating jewel,

There slowly wends a tired old man

With a tired old faithful mule.

 

                                                      

“You wait, my Jane, the day will come

When heaven’s stars will sing,

And all the hills will dance with joy

And I shall be a king!

And you, you funny bag of bones

– so stout of heart and true –

You’ll have a carrot ten feet long

And a saddle of sapphire blue”.

 

                                              

You’ll probably think old Ben was mad,

Not so, or so I hold:

Maybe the ground was barren and bare

But his life was of purest gold.

(From Vignettes of Childhood and other Poems by Michael Thurstan Bassett. Available from Amazon.com)

                                                     

 

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