Ballads of Cheechako

Author: Robert Service  | Date: 1909

The Man from Eldorado

He’s the man from Eldorado, and he’s just arrived in town,

In moccasins and oily buckskin shirt.

He’s gaunt as any Indian, and pretty nigh as brown;

He’s greasy, and he smells of sweat and dirt.

He sports a crop of whiskers that would shame a healthy hog;

Hard work has racked his joints and stooped his back;

He slops along the sidewalk followed by his yellow dog,

But he’s got a bunch of gold-dust in his sack.

He seems a little wistful as he blinks at all the lights,

And maybe he is thinking of his claim

And the dark and dwarfish cabin where he lay and dreamed at nights,

(Thank God, he’ll never see the place again!)

Where he lived on tinned tomatoes, beef embalmed and sourdough bread,

On rusty beans and bacon furred with mould;

His stomach’s out of kilter and his system full of lead,

But it’s over, and his poke is full of gold.

He has panted at the windlass, he has loaded in the drift,

He has pounded at the face of oozy clay;

He has taxed himself to sickness, dark and damp and double shift,

He has labored like a demon night and day.

And now, praise God, it’s over, and he seems to breathe again

Of new-mown hay, the warm, wet, friendly loam;

He sees a snowy orchard in a green and dimpling plain,

And a little vine-clad cottage, and it’s- Home.


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Chicago: Robert Service, "The Man from Eldorado," Ballads of Cheechako Original Sources, accessed January 27, 2023,

MLA: Service, Robert. "The Man from Eldorado." Ballads of Cheechako, Original Sources. 27 Jan. 2023.

Harvard: Service, R, 'The Man from Eldorado' in Ballads of Cheechako. Original Sources, retrieved 27 January 2023, from