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The Pacifier

From the Newark Evening Star, December 3, 1914. By Berton Braley.

When I comes home from work at night
    All tired out from minin’ coal,
An’ black an’ sweaty to the sight
    I ain’t th’ gladdest kind of soul;
Th’ world don’t make no hit with me,
    I’m mighty weary with my lot,
An’ every bloomin’ thing I see
    Just seems to feed th’ grouch I’ve got.

I cusses at my daily work,
    I damn the pitboss to the pit,
I thinks of all th’ dust an’ murk
    Of minin’—an’ I cusses it;
I thinks, “Us miners ain’t no men,
    We’re pore dumb beasts that’s hitched and drove;”
I starts once more to swear—an’ then
    I smells th’ supper on th’ stove!

It mebbe ain’t so very much
    (A miner ain’t no millionaire),
But when I scents that stew an’ such
    I—well, I half forgets to swear.
From worries an’ from troubles, too,
    My thoughts begin to stray an’ rove,
An’ life assumes a dif’runt hue,
    When I smells supper on th’ stove!

An’ when they brings that supper in
    An’ wife an’ kids an’ me sets down,
I finds a sort of pleasant grin
    Has chased away my ugly frown;
I puts away all thought of strife,
    My appetite I gives the call,
An’ thinks, “Oh well, this miner’s life
    Ain’t nothin’ awful, after all!”

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