Leddy Ballads

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Poems
by George Albert Leddy
Tales of the Rugged Trails

Tales of the Rugged Trails

"List' to the tales of the rugged trails
and the rugged, rawboned men;
Gruesome and weird, tainted and smeared,
blackened with crime and sin …

Arctic Love

Arctic Love

There are many sons
Who could tell you tales
Whose dads have traveled
The Arctic trails.

Christmas Eve in the Arctic

Christmas Eve in the Arctic

Many a man
Has wished in vain
That the days gone-bye
Might come again.

The Bandit

The Bandit

His goodness is but badness
His love is but a hate
His happiness is loneliness
His luck is but his fate.

The Blackguard

The Blackguard

"We meet strange things
in the walks of life
'Mid the moil, the toil,
the hardships and strife …

The Blue and the Gray

The Blue and the Gray

The lash of time speeds fast
The team of parting years
Yet memories of the past
Are held with reins of tears.

The Butterfly and the Rose

The Butterfly and the Rose

The Butterfly lit on the
Rose one day
And in butterfly talk
I heard him say: …

Consolation

Consolation

"I was tending the bar
in a cheap cafe,
My spirits were light and
my heart was gay …

Convict 69

Convict 69

Twenty years in prison
Waiting for death to come,
Praying each night till the morning
For the Master to take me home …

Cook and Peary

Cook and Peary

"The Pole is cold and dreary,"
says Cook and Peary, too.
"I reached it weak and weary,"
say both, so it must be true.

Decoration Day

Decoration Day

Decoration Day
is here again
A year has passed
there is no change.

The Fairest Young Rose

Fairest Young Rose

"Down in my garden
close by the fence,
Where the thistles and
cockleburs grow …

Gambler Dan

Gambler Dan

Through twenty years of living hell,
of mingled love and hate,
Cursing the stranger, blessing his Nell, Oh, God, what a terrible fate.

The Hermit

The Hermit

This is the tale the Hermit told
To his dog, his gun, and his knife;
Of a love, a hate, and a bitter wrong,
A death, and a wasted life.

License or Prohibition

Licence or Prohibition

There's nothing so bad
But it might be worse,
Don't decide in a hurry,
Think well of it first.

Lost in the Desert

Lost in the Desert

"Well, I never was much of
a man to pray;
From churches and preachers,
I kept away …

The Mad Man of the Mines

The Mad Man of the Mines

"You've never heard the story, man, well, that seems mighty queer;
I reckoned's how 'twas known to all
for miles and miles 'round here …

The Men That God Forgot

The Men That God Forgot

You may not like this little tale
The miner told about the trail.
Well, if you don't, just pass it by,
We'll still be friends, you and I.

The Miser

A grafting, clinging,
Monstrous thing
More fit for horns
Than fit for wings.

My Gal Sue

As long as I live,
I’ll never forget
The night that
I first met Sue.

My Pal Jim

My Pal Jim

"I just came back from over thare,
I sat awhile with Jim;
Sat thare sort'o helpless like,
Thare's nothin' I can do …

The Old Buccaneer

The Old Buccaneer

It could be he or perhaps that he
thinks it is me, and so,
Each man may think the thoughts he
thinks, but let no other know.

The Old Picket Fence

The Old Picket Fence

"'Tear down the Old Picket Fence,' you say.
Well, no; I guess I'll let it stay.
I'll patch it up, and paint it white;
I guess I'll make it look alright.

Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick '48

Saint Patrick had his weakness too
Like all the other Irish do.

>1950

The Sapphire Ring

The Sapphire Ring

If you want to hear of moonlit dells,
Of roses red, of violets blue;
Then look elsewhere, don't linger here;
This ballad is not meant for you.

Tale of the Toreador

The Tale of the Toreador

This is the story I heard one night
By the man who stumbled in
With the old bandanna 'round his neck
And the ragged scar on his chin …

Vengeance on the Sea

Vengeance on the Sea

Sad tales are told by seaman old
But none more sad could be
Than a life that's spent with a mad intent
Of Vengeance on the Sea.

The Voice of the Bar

The Voice of the Bar

Twas payday - the boys were all gathered
At Dungan's saloon, for 'twas there in that "Gambling Hell," as they called it,
Though the sign read 'The Grizzly Bear"…